An Accessibility Checklist for Your Course

Accessibility in the context of online learning means that all populations of students, regardless of disability, are able to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with their course materials and can contribute to the course without barriers. Courses and course content that are designed accessibly anticipate barriers and proactively remove them for all students in a course.

Accessibility is different than accommodations, which are reactive to a student disclosing their disability. Most often, these accommodations are created for an individual student and do not guarantee that all barriers to access are removed for others. Accommodations are very likely provided at your institution by something like a Disability Services Office. For example, if you’ve ever received a letter from a student requesting additional time for tests, you have provided an accommodation.

Review Your Course

Quality Matters Standard 8 asks course designers to “utilize the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and reflect a commitment to accessibility.” The quality review will review your course for components of accessibility. Use the checklist below to best prepare yourself and your course for accessibility! 

Additional Resources

Major Learning Management Systems have built-in accessibility checkers that allow you to check the accessibility of your page content. A few examples are the Canvas Accessibility Checker, the Blackboard Checker in the Rich Content Editor, and the Brightspace D2L Checker. Your institution may also work with the embedded accessibility tools Blackboard Ally or UDOIT, which make it easy to run reports on the accessibility of your content. 

Adobe Acrobat

Accessibility checker instructions and guidance

Microsoft Office

Accessibility checker instructions and guidance


The Quality Matters accessibility and usability resource site


Designing websites and content with accessibility in mind