Nine tips for course materials follow.

  1. Use clear, consistent layouts, navigation, and organization schemes to present content. Keep paragraphs short and avoid flashing content.
  2. Use descriptive wording for hyperlink text (e.g., “DO-IT website” rather than “click here”).
  3. Use a text-based format and structure headings, lists, and tables using style and formatting features within your Learning Management System (LMS) and content creation software, such as Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign and Acrobat; use built-in page layouts where applicable.
  4. Avoid creating PDF documents. Post most instructor-created content within LMS content pages (i.e., in HTML) and, if a PDF is desired, link to it only as a secondary source of the information.
  5. Provide concise text descriptions of content presented within images (text descriptions web resource).
  6. Use large, bold, sans serif fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds.
  7. Use color combinations that are high contrast and can be distinguished by those who are colorblind (color contrast web resource). Do not use color alone to convey meaning.
  8. Caption videos and transcribe audio content.
  9. Don’t overburden students with learning to operate a large number of technology products unless they are related to the topic of the course; use asynchronous tools; make sure IT used requires the use of the keyboard alone and otherwise employs accessible design practices.

Eleven tips for inclusive pedagogy follow; many are particularly beneficial for students who are neurodiverse (e.g., those on the autism spectrum or who have learning disabilities). Consult Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction for more guidance.

  1. Recommend videos and written materials to students where they can gain technical skills needed for course participation.
  2. Provide multiple ways for students to learn (e.g., use a combination of text, video, audio, and/or image; speak aloud all content presented on slides in synchronous presentations and then record them for later viewing).
  3. Provide multiple ways to communicate and collaborate that are accessible to individuals with a variety of disabilities.
  4. Provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned (e.g., different types of test items, portfolios, presentations, single-topic discussions).
  5. Address a wide range of language skills as you write content (e.g., use plain English, spell out acronyms, define terms, avoid or define jargon).
  6. Make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, discussions and readings.
  7. Make examples and assignments relevant to learners with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.
  8. Offer outlines and other scaffolding tools and share tips that might help students learn.
  9. Provide adequate opportunities to practice.
  10. Allow adequate time for activities, projects, and tests (e.g., give details of all project assignments at the beginning of the course).
  11. Provide feedback on project parts and offer corrective opportunities.

Credit: The University of Washington