Ohio University

Accessibility and Access

Accessibility - CoLab

Creating learning environments that consider student's accessibility and access needs is critical, especially when considering the recent shift to online learning. 

Accessibility refers to the design of learning materials and environments that allow all students, regardless of their individual learning differences, to participate fully and freely. For guidance on accessible technology use, please visit the OHIO University’s Digital Accessibility Guidelines website. For guidance related to ADA compliance, sample syllabus language, and other ways of supporting students with accessibility needs, please visit the Student Accessibility Services website. 

Access, by contrast, denotes the physical infrastructure requirements for students to participate. This can mean access to internet services, a laptop, or even a quiet space for studying. Visit OHIO’s Computer/Laptop Program and Campus WiFi Availability webpages to learn more about resources for students with access challenges.

To begin, take advantage of OHIO’s “Keep Teaching” resources, especially the tools related to asynchronous instruction.


In the News: Accessibility

Helping Institutions Reach Accessibility Goals, Inside Higher Education (February 2019)

ADA Compliance for Online Course Design, Educause Review (January 2017)

Remember Accessibility in the Rush to Online Instruction: 10 Tips for Educators, National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (March 2020)

Scholarly Articles about Accessibility and Access

Dunn, D. S., & Andrews, E. E. (2015). Person-first and identity-first language: Developing psychologists’ cultural competence using disability language. American Psychologist, 70(3), 255. 

Linton, S. (1998). Disability studies/not disability studies. Disability & Society, 13(4) 525-539. 

Miles, A. L., Nishida, A., & Forber-Pratt, A. J. (2017). An open letter to White disability studies and ableist institutions of higher education. Disability Studies Quarterly, 37(3). 

Ott, L. E., Hodges, L. C., & LaCourse, W. R. (2020). Supporting Deaf Students in Undergraduate Research Experiences: Perspectives of American Sign Language Interpreters. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 21(1).