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The UBC Faculty of Education is dedicated to providing every student with full and equal access to University programs and services. We have worked to extend the accessible features of many of our online courses.
How We’ve Made UBC MET Materials Accessible
Everyone learns in different ways. In many of our courses, course material should be accessible to a standard screen-reader, which reads all the text in a browser out loud. This is essential not only for those with serious vision impairments, but also for students with learning challenges who find it easier to comprehend material aurally rather than visually.
We have provided transcripts and captions for audio and video material whenever possible. This may be of use to you as well if you are viewing the course materials from a slower dial-up connection.
Making Your Own Online Experience Easier & More Accessible
There are many things you can do to make your own online experience easier and more accessible.
Change the font size: Most browsers will allow you to change the size of text. Under the “View” menu in Chrome, Firefox and Safari, you will see an option for “Text size” or “Increase Font”. You can use this option to make the text larger or smaller as you prefer.
Turn on High Contrast UI (User Interface) in Canvas: If you have challenges differentiating colours on web pages, you can enable a feature in Canvas which changes colours and links to make them more visible.
Accessibility options for Windows: Microsoft Windows has many built-in functions to adjust such things as the speed of your mouse, the size of your mouse pointer, and your keyboard’s key repeat rate. Visit the Windows Personalization & Ease of Access page for full details and instructions.
Accessibility options for macOS and iOS: OS X and iOS have similar accessibility options, such as keyboard navigation, talking alerts, and display adjustment. Find more at the Apple Accessibility page.
Helpful software: Many students use screen readers, which read the text on a web page aloud, to assist them with large amounts of written text. This is good for concentrating on difficult passages. Two of the most commonly used screen readers are Jaws and Wynn, a literacy program which also includes word prediction, spelling and grammar, study tools and more. Wynn and Jaws are quite expensive, but there is also a free screen reader for Windows called Thunder. Mac OS X and iOS devices includes a screen reader called VoiceOver. VoiceOver can be activated through the Accessibility option under System Preferences.
Alternative hardware: It’s always best to address potential problems before they get worse – carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries are painful, but can be prevented! See 9 Things You Can Do to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on WebMD.
Smartphones and apps: Smartphones also have many accessibility features, and there are also many apps to assist with screen reading, colour blindness and other assistive needs.