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Accessibility: Home


This guide serves as a central location for both internal and external resources to help you create accessible digital materials (or assets).  It provides a primer on Universal Design as well as guidelines and tools for developing the most common types of digital assets: Documents, Images, Video, Audio Files, Spreadsheets, Presentations, PDFs, Moodle and Infographics. Please check back often for updates and additional resources. 

Michelle Blank Kelsey McLane
If you have questions about Disability services at Goshen College, please contact Michelle Blank at the  Academic Success Center at or ext. 7426.  If you have questions about how to make your digital materials accessible, please contact Kelsey McLane at the Academic Success Center at or ext. 7427.

We look forward to working with you on making your course materials accessible!

What You Should Know

The Law

According to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, any electronic information or technology that we develop, purchase, maintain or use must provide equitable access and use for individuals with disabilities. The access and use must be comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities.  Approximately 8% of GC students have registered with the Academic Success Center. To learn more, visit the U. S. General Services Administration 508 website.

Under Title III of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, colleges that receive federal aid must provide equal access to students with disabilities. Schools can do this in several ways: by providing aids and services necessary for effective communication, like sign language interpreters, Braille or electronic formats and listening devices; and by modifying policies, practices and procedures, such as testing accommodations. Digital access is part of providing equal access to all students.  To learn more, visit the ADA website.

Definition of Accessible

"Accessible" means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology. (Office of Civil Rights in the Resolution agreement with South Carolina Technical College System, 2/18/13) 

Universal Design

Universal Design, or Inclusive Design, is the design and creation of environments both physical and digital that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, physical stature, preferences, disability or ability. It should be a fundamental goal to design environments that meet the needs of all people. Incorporating the needs of all people results in spaces, products and service that are useful, beneficial and enjoyable for all. 

Developing your electronic materials using Universal Design principles is easy and simply, good design. To learn more review the Universal Design tab at the top of this page.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Many institutions for higher learning and the eLearning community at large have adopted the criteria for accessibility of online content outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set the bar for creators and developers of web content, which covers eLearning web-based platforms such as Moodle. To read more about WCAG visit the W3C website.

Third Party Materials

When you require materials provided by a third party (e.g. a publisher textbook supplement site) ensure the materials you choose are accessible. If materials are not accessible, you will need to provide an accessible, equitable alternative. Contact the Academic Success Center with questions or for further direction as needed.



8% of GC students who are enrolled are on the list of Students with Disabilities.


6% of GC students have academic accommodations

Services for Students with Disabilities

To be eligible to receive accommodations, a student must have an obvious (visible) disability or provide an educational evaluation completed by a licensed professional, preferably within the last three years. This documentation will be kept on file in the ASC office.


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