Address Accessibility Challenges with AURS

From the on-campus experience at Harvard University to the online environment at community colleges across the country, institutions are grappling with how to make education accessible for all learners. That’s why the QM Community came together to build the Accessibility & Usability Resource Site (AURS) for QM members.

AURS is the go-to resource for QM members to get information on how to address key accessibility and usability concerns, including:

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Universal Design for Learning 

Discover what you need to know about UDL and how it can assist you in creating accessible and usable content to meet the needs of diverse learners.

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Alternative Text

Find out why alternative text is an important principle in accessible web design and how you can use it to help all learners understand the meaning of the image used in your content.

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Video Captions and Audio Descriptions

Uncover the specific steps that must be taken to make video content accessible.

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Hyperlinks

Gain an understanding of how to set up links in the most accessible way possible in order to create accessible content.

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Accessible MS Office products

Explore the basics of Microsoft product accessibility, including alternative text, document best practices and utilizing built-in accessibility checkers.

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Readability: Color Choice and Contrast

Dive into the topics of readability and discover why color choice and contrast play a major role in creating accessible digital resources.

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Readable PDFs

Take your readability skills to the next level and learn more about how you can make PDFs accessible for your learners.

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Accessible Design in Learning Management Systems

Learn how QM members are tackling accessibility issues in a variety of learning management systems, including Canvas, Blackboard and D2L-Brightspace.

As Maria Fister, an instructional designer at North Carolina State University and AURS contributor, shares, the site will not only help instructional designers but faculty too. “As an instructional designer, I have struggled to find a simple, easy-to-use resource that provides accessibility guidelines in one single location,” she said. “When I learned about the AURS project, I thought it was a great opportunity to contribute to a resource for instructional designers and faculty who are getting started with creating their accessible online courses.”

Each topic features different resources to assist you with your accessibility challenges. Videos show you step-by-step changes you can make to increase the accessibility of your course. Examples highlight best practices. Articles provide you with additional information and resources. And forums allow you to connect directly with accessibility experts — peers who have expertise in designing accessible courses. There is also a General Accessibility and Usability Questions' Forum where you can ask any question that is unrelated to the listed topics.

And the site is growing! New topics and resources will be added every month.

QM members can register for the site by logging into MyQM and selecting “Workshop - Register” in the side navigation. (If you've already registered, the AURS link can be found under "My courses" in the QM Classroom after you log in.) Not a member? Learn about the different membership options available and the benefits of becoming part of the QM Community!

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