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Faculty Accessibility Questions about Digital Content

This is a standard set of questions that we recommend you ask publishers, or other digital content providers to learn more about the accessibility of digital content that you are interested in using in your course. 

We recommend that you ask these questions before adopting digital content. Adapted with permission from University of Colorado Boulder Digital Accessibility Program.

  1. Ask for Publisher Information: Contact the publisher to ask them for details about the accessibility of your particular textbook and/or digital content. This should include all known accessibility issues, any workarounds that the student can use, a named point of contact, and any guidance on how to ensure any content you create within the platform is accessible.
  2. Review your Assessments: If you use digital online quizzes, ask the publisher for a list of quiz question types that are accessible. Review your own quiz content to ensure that none of your questions rely on drag-and-drop actions, images without alt text, or other inaccessible mechanisms.
  3. Consult with Digital Accessibility Specialists: Contact your local Accessibility Policy Liaison for support and reach out to the MSU IT Digital Experience (DigitalX) team for help evaluating your digital content at webaccess@msu.edu or call the IT Help Desk at 517-432-6200.
  4. Notify your Students: If the digital content (including texts, assignments, tests, or online homework systems) used in your course are not fully accessible, please notify your students in your syllabus with the following statement:

"This course requires the use of [name of software or service], which is currently not accessible. Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities, with documentation from the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, may be requested by contacting [insert Professor name or "me"] at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible. For questions, contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517.884.7273.

We recommend that you use these questions to understand a publisher/supplier's commitment to accessibility and to assess how accessibility is handled within their organization.

For support in understanding the impact of their responses, contact your local Web Accessibility Policy Liaison. Every college and department on campus has at least one Web Accessibility Policy Liaison, for an up-to-date list visit webaccess.

This will help to ensure that digital content meet MSU's standards for digital accessibility and reduces learning and cost barriers to students with disabilities.

Examples

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Library E-Resource Accessibility Group was formed in order to engage with vendors to improve accessibility, and ensure that digital content is usable across the Big Ten Academic Alliance. They provide examples of digital content that have been reviewed for accessibility, along with responses from vendors, as well as standardized license language that can be used in contracts.

Microsoft Word (.docx) version.