Many student accommodations require accessible materials and faculty can easily make their class materials available to students with disabilities by these straightforward “how to” guidelines.

Testing Center Info

The Disability Services Office supports proctored exams for students with approved testing accommodations. Make sure students know they need to schedule a proctored exam 7 calendar days in advance and have the time to do so. When you are prompted to, send in the test to the testing center for your students.

Accessible PDFs

Also known as: OCR (optical character recognition), “true pdf format,” text recognition

Accessible pdfs allow students to listen to a document. When a pdf is in “true format,” students can highlight the text and put it into a text-to-speech program (i.e. NaturalReader) so that they can listen to the document. Any document where this cannot happen is a scanned document or image. It is important to have accessible pdfs so that students with learning differences, such as dyslexia, or visual impairments, can access their class material. All faculty should make sure their class documents are in an accessible format.

How to make an Accessible PDF:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat (must have Acrobat Pro)
    1. Your department services coordinator/administrator assistant has access to Adobe Acrobat, and they can remediate the documents
  2. Click “Tools” > “Create PDF”
  3. Select the file type you want to create a PDF from: single file, multiple files, scan, or other option
  4. Click “Create” or “Next” depending on the file type
  5. Follow the prompts to convert to PDF and save to your desired location

Accessible Audio

Captioning videos/audio

Captioning videos, audio, and media allow students to read along as they listen to the audio. It is important to have captioning so that students with learning differences, such as hearing impairments, can access their class material. All faculty should ensure their class audio is in an accessible format one week before they plan to use it in class. Faculty can either contact Michelle Obergfoll, or they can use YouTube to access captions.

How to get captioning through YouTube:

  1. Make a YouTube account and sign in
  2. In the right top-hand corner, there is a button that says “create video” click that button and then press “upload video”
  3. Select the video file you would like to upload
  4. Once uploaded, you can play the video and turn on the captioning so that you have accessible video/media
Accessible Power Point Presentation

Nitin Naik (2017) Dual PowerPoint presentation approach for students with special educational needs and note-takers, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32:1, 146-152, DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2016.1254970


Targets Learners

Adding in additional images, audio, videos, and multimedia content

Helps those with visual learning styles or print-related difficulties

Readable font size and typeface

Targets learners with dyslexia, and those who are partially sighted

Color and brightness contrast

Targets learners with dyslexia and color blindness

Emphasizing text

Helps learners with visual impairments and dyslexia

Use of appropriate words, sentences, alignment and justification

Targets learners with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia

Numbers, arithmetic and math simplification

Helps learners with poor memory and dyscalculia

Additional handouts

  • Lecture Handouts
    • 5-7 bullet points covering the information, not in-depth
    • Use of graphics, tables, and charts
      • And pictures/real-life examples
  • Comprehensive Lecture Notes
    • Detailed lecture notes
      • Covers topics in depth
      • Use of terminology, definitions, explanations, simplified mathematics, diagrams, tables, and charts. (149)

Helps all learners with learning differences

Some students with learning disabilities may have trouble with handwriting, reading, and hearing impairments, so more detailed lecture note handouts may benefit.

Physical action, expression, and communication

Helps all learners with learning differences

Contact Disability Services
Berkus Hall

Oxy's Interactive Map

Spring 2024 Office Hours

Mondays: 2-3pm
Thursdays: 2-3pm
Michelle Obergfoll
Director of Disability Services & Student Support