Course Syllabus

Accessibility Basics course

This course is designed to prepare faculty who will be developing and/or curating open educational resources (OER) with an understanding of accessibility basics. The ASCCC OER Initiative has integrated accessibility training into much of its work as today's faculty member is certain to be interacting with students in a digital environment. As we hope to interact with all faculty in the California Community Colleges, we believe it is important to do what we can to ensure that no faculty member is creating accessibility barriers for students. Accessibility is a complicated topic. Our goal is to ensure that you understand the basics of accessibility. Many OER projects will require more extensive training. Our focus here is on the creation of accessible online content, regardless of the platform you are working in.

Learning outcomes

The student learning outcomes for this course ("SLOs") reflect the accessibility knowledge that all faculty should have. At the end of the class, you should be able to create and review digital content and be able to:

  • Discuss the barriers created by inaccessible content.
  • Create accessible content in Canvas, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and LibreTexts.
    • Create descriptive hyperlinks and explain why they need to be used. 
    • Provide meaningful alternative text for images. 
    • Apply heading and list styles correctly.
    • Apply table headers, determine scope, and provide descriptive caption to tables.
  • Provide accurate alternative formats for video and audio files.
  • Interpret results from accessibility checkers including WAVE, and the checkers for Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • Identify accessibility checker limitations.

Grading and completion

This is a self-paced course on Accessibility Basics. You will work through the models progressively starting with this orientation module. Each unit of the course ends with a multiple-choice quiz that can be taken as many times as necessary to earn a perfect score. Earning 100% on the quiz will unlock the next module. The last module will contain a cumulative test.  Like all the other assessments, you must earn 100% and have multiple attempts achieve a perfect score. Completion of this test will earn the Accessibility Basics Course Badge. Participants can expect to spend at least 20 hours on the course content to compete the badge requirements. 

Course content

Why accessibility matters


  • accessibility requirements
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • POUR framework
  • designing for student success
  • screen Readers

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discuss why accessibility matters.
  • Explain how screen readers interact with content.
  • Explain barriers to access and assistive technologies designed to overcome these barriers.
  • Describe UDL and the POUR framework.



  • links
  • images and alt text
  • lists
  • headings
  • tables

Learning outcomes:

  • Create descriptive hyperlinks and explain why they need to be used. 
  • Provide meaningful alternative text for images. 
  • Apply heading styles correctly.
  • Apply list styles to groups of associated text.
  • Apply table headers, determine scope, and provide descriptive caption to tables.

Color and CAT


  • color awareness
  • color contrast
  • captions, subtitles, and transcripts
  • creating accurate captions
  • audio description

Learning Outcomes:

  • Choose accessible text colors and background color combinations.
  • Use other visual cues besides color to relay meaning. 
  • Provide an alternate format strategy for videos and audio files.  

Accessibility checkers


  • accessibility checker results and limitations
  • WAVE accessibility checker
  • accessibility checkers for Canvas, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Learning outcomes:

  • Use and interpret information from the WAVE accessibility checker.
  • Use and interpret information from platform-specific accessibility checkers such as Canvas, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • Locate additional support under the accessibility checker results.
  • Identify accessibility checkers' limitations.

Contact information:

Suzanne Wakim

  • ASCCC OERI Project Facilitator
  • Butte Community College: Coordinator for OER, DE, and SLO; Biology faculty
  • @ONE Facilitator for: 10-10-10 Communications that Matter; Creating Accessible Course Content; and Assessment in Digital Learning.
  • Creative Commons Course Facilitator


You can find a copy of this class in Canvas Commons.

Accessibility Basics by Suzanne Wakim and Michelle Pilati is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and was created for the ASCCC OERI. This resource is an adaptation of many resource, these are listed on our Licensing and Attribution page.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due