A Little Means a Lot: Simple Ways to Improve Online Course Accessibility

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:30am in Meadowbrook I on Friday, November 18, 2016.



  • Jennifer Perkins, Eastern Kentucky University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Presenter will share simple, but often-overlooked or misunderstood, techniques for enhancing accessibility of online instructional content, Microsoft Office products, and PDF files.


Instructors, course designers, media specialists, and others in higher education repeatedly hear terms like "accessibility," "universal design," "Section 508," and "ADA." Unfortunately, they may not receive necessary training on these issues until an urgent need arises, leading to undue stress and frustration for everyone involved. In online courses, where most content is provided via HTML, video, and downloadable documents, content creators may be especially unfamiliar with making the information accessible to their full student audience. In this session, the presenter shares simple techniques that enhance online course accessibility. The techniques are easy to implement and require little or no background knowledge in coding (though attendees are preferably familiar with at least rudimentary HTML).


  1. Experience how a screen reader translates various content, both “good” and “bad.”
  2. Experience positive effects on accessibility when simple augmentations to course content are made.
  3. Be equipped to implement easy changes to online courses for accessibility by a wider student audience.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Assistive Technology, Web/Media/App Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins is an instructional designer in Eastern Kentucky University’s e-Campus Instructional Design Center. With professional experience in the actuarial, publishing, and hospitality fields, her passion for helping others learn via the use of technology led her to pursue a career in instructional design and e-learning. She also advises small businesses and organizations as they seek to create an online training presence. Jennifer holds a master’s degree focusing on instructional and educational technologies from Western Kentucky University.



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