For Teaching Faculty

Accessibility is the degree to which digital content and technologies can be equally accessed and used by as many people as possible, including individuals with disabilities. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and subsequent updates in 2008, disability rights are protected as civil rights in the United States.

As educators, we want to ensure all learners can access and participate equally in our courses. Ensuring that we follow and utilize best practices when developing content and using technologies furthers Rice's mission and values of responsibility, integrity, community, and excellence.


The Canvas learning management system (LMS) includes many essential accessibility features. Creating and sharing accessible content is one of the most important things we can do to make sure our courses are usable for all students. Learn more about how to design with accessibility in mind by reviewing the Getting Familiar with Accessibility in Canvas module within the Teaching with Technology master course by Learning Environments.


The Universal Design Online Content Inspection (UDOIT) tool will scan your Canvas course content, generate a list of accessibility issues and recommendations, and provide guidance on how to correct them. This tool does not automatically fix accessibility issues, it is meant to be used as a guide to help you learn and apply best practices proactively. Get started by adding UDOIT to your Canvas course navigation.

  1. Select the “Settings” link in the Canvas course navigation menu.
  2. Select the “Navigation” tab.
  3. Enable “UDOIT Cloud.” Click and drag it from lower box to upper box or use the ellipsis.
  4. Click “Save.”

Learn more about UDOIT in the Getting Familiar with Accessibility in Canvas module.

Using Accessible Documents & Resources

One of the easiest ways to ensure the digital content we put in front of students is accessible is to create them with accessibility in mind. If you are using digital content from the library or the web, there are steps you can take to assess how accessible and usable these formats will be for students. Check out the Using Accessible Documents & Resources page of the Teaching with Technology master course from Learning Environments to learn more.

Universal Design

Inclusion and flexibility are key concepts in Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Providing digital information in multiple formats gives our audience more choices that facilitate greater access. Watch the six minute video What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL) below to learn more about this pedagogy.

One fun and practicable way to improve digital access is with what Dr. Thomas Tobin calls Plus-One Thinking.
If your digital information and communication are only available in one format, consider providing one more (i.e. “Plus-one”).

  • Have a text-heavy document?
    Plus-one by recording a video that demonstrates key concepts.

  • Have a data table?
    Plus-one by providing an infographic or a pie chart.

  • Have a multiple choice final exam?
    Plus-one by offering a paper or authentic project.