ION | Illinois Online Network

The Digital Accessibility for Educators Certificate

The Digital Accessibility for Educators certificate focuses on foundational information and specific skills for educators, instructional designers, and other staff who develop digital resources for courses.

The courses in this certificate provide skills that satisfy the current WCAG standards upon which U.S., Canadian, and European Union accessibility guidelines, policies, and laws are based.

Those who complete the certficiate will:

  • Understand the legal and historical background of accessibility, universal design for learning, and applying these to course design.
  • Develop accessible Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files
  • Create accessible videos

The courses were developed with educators in mind. The courses explain why and how to make common course materials accessible with free or inexpensive software that is commonly available at many institutions. Technical IT jargon is not used.

For U.S. Institutions

An important question to ask is why do our digital materials need to be accessible? The answer is two-fold.

Four federal laws require accessibility of all digital resources. Some states, including Illinois, also have laws mandating the accessibility of digital resources for institutions of higher education.

Secondly, courses that are made accessible to students with disabilities also prove useful students without any document disabilities. For instance video captioning helps students who are English language learners or consume content in noisy (or quiet) locations.

Who Should Enroll in the Program

The Digital Accessibility for Educators certificate is designed for educators, instructional designers, and other staff members who create digital content for courses.

Benefits of the Program

Many faculty developing online courses have no experience or formal training in making those materials accessible, as federal law requires, which leaves both faculty and institutions at risk of legal action. Individuals who complete the certificate program will learn how to create accessible materials for their courses.

Certificate Requirements

  • Foundations of Accessibility
  • Creating Accessible Documents
  • Creating Accessible Videos
  • Universal Design Principles for Online Learning