Standards for Design: Part 41 – Accessibility information of all technologies

Welcome to the forty-first blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the second standard in the eighth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Accessibility and Usability. This post continues our discussion about what to consider to assist learners and to make your course start to meet accessibility standards.

Standard: 8.2 Information is provided about the accessibility of all technologies required in the course.

Much like some of the other QM Standards, this week’s standard is also very straight forward. It is important for the course to provide information about the accessibility information for all of the technologies used in the course. This includes the LMS, any lecture capture you are creating, your synchronous session tools, word processing software required, etc. A good place for this information in the syllabus is the “Start Here” section of course.

An example of what is could look like is:


Accessibility of course technology

This online course requires use of Carmen (Ohio State’s learning management system) and other online communication and multimedia tools. If you need additional services to use these technologies, please request accommodations with your instructor.

Carmen (Desire2Learn) Accessibility Statement

At Desire2Learn they believe that learning technologies should never limit learning opportunities. Our accessibility program is tightly integrated with our research and development lifecycle to ensure our tools are standards compliant and easy for people to navigate and understand using the assistive technologies and devices that support their needs.

Synchronous Course Tools

CarmenConnect (Adobe Connect) accessibility

This course may implement the use of CarmenConnect (Adobe Connect) web conferencing and / or other Synchronous Course Tools. If you require special services to view the Synchronous Course sessions, first contact the professor and then contact The Ohio State University Office for Disability Services.

Accessibility in Microsoft Office 2007

Accessibility in Microsoft Office 2010

Streaming Media / Video
This course may implement the use of webcasting, lecture capture systems, Youtube, other streaming media services and / or DVD use. If you require special services to view the Mediasite lectures, first contact the professor and then contact The Ohio State University Office for Disability Services

What do you do if the technology doesn’t have an accessibility statement? First, state in the same place as your other technologies that this particular tool does not have an accessibility statement.

Secondly, plan ahead. Imagine you do have a student that enrolls in your course that needs accommodations. Is there an equivalent assignment that the student can partake in that does include a technology that is accessible? Why do this for just students that need accommodations? Good Universal Design practices would state that you give students options to meet the needs of all learning styles.

A great resource at the Office of Distance Education and eLearning to use when we talk about Universal Design and Accessibility is the ODEE Community for Universal Design and Accessibility Blog and the Accessibility section of ODEE Resource Center. This is not only is this an essential QM standard and a great course design practice, but it is also starting to become the law!

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

The ODEE Quality Matters blog can be found at the ODEE Quality Matters Blog


Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

Quality MattersTM © 2008 MarylandOnline, Inc. Reprinted with permission by Grace Hall. Please contact MarylandOnline, Inc. for information or reprint permission.