Accessibility Resources

Missouri State University and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning are committed to supporting faculty and staff as they strive to proactively address learning barriers for all students and strive to create inclusive learning environments. This page includes a variety of resources that will aid in the creation of accessible course materials that will not only benefit students with disabilities but all students at MSU.

Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally will automatically run your course materials through an accessibility checker and provide you feedback on how to make materials more accessible.

Microsoft Office Resources

Microsoft Word: Creating Accessible Word Documents
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Academic Community in Blackboard

All MSU faculty have access to the Academic Community site in Blackboard. There, faculty will find the following resources as well as templates, accessible syllabus statements and an accessibility checklist that can be used as a guide for making their courses more accessible.

Campus Resources

Don’t forget there are people on campus dedicated to increasing the accessibility and inclusiveness of your courses.

FCTL Instructional Designers: can assist you in making your course more accessible by working with you to develop instructional strategies and technological solutions that accommodate a variety of learner needs.

Disability Resource Center: through a collaborative relationship with the DRC, faculty have a resource to better understand the accommodation process and the need for a student requested accommodation.

Access Technology Center: The Access Technology Center provides a wide range of assistive technology and adaptive computer technology services to qualified Missouri State University students.

Learning Diagnostic Clinic (LDC): The LDC works with student who have learning or psychological disabilities. The LDC also offers evaluation services for learning and psychological disabilities.

Professional Development

Accessible Learning Institute: is a program designed to help participants identify and resolve accessibility concerns in their courses. In creating an awareness around physical and cognitive disabilities and the learning barriers often experienced by those students, the program hopes to increase the adoption of proactive approaches to course design that will reduce the need for students to request certain types of academic accommodations that could delay student access to information.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word: Creating Accessible Documents by WebAIM
This website by WebAIM provides best practices for making word documents accessible and includes instructions for multiple versions of MS Word.

Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker
Allows you to check for accessibility issues in documents using Microsoft Word2010-2016(PC Only).

Adding Alt Txt to Images in Microsoft Word
This tutorial, produced by Colorado State University, walks you through how to add alternative text to images so they can be read by students who rely on screen reading software.

PowerPoint Accessibility by WebAIM
This website by WebAIM outlines how to make your PowerPoints more accessible.

Cheatsheets by NCDAE
These free, one-page accessibility resources, or “cheat sheets” for a number of common PC applications such as: 

  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • PDFs
  • YouTube
  • InDesign
  • Web design

These guides have been developed by NCDAE to assist anyone who is creating accessible content. Each option includes a PDF download option.

Video Resources

Captioning Your Videos with Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is a video-streaming service available to faculty, staff, and students in the Missouri State University network through their Microsoft Office 365 account. Using Stream, you can securely upload, view, organize and share videos. Stream can be used by people who are interested in using videos in the workplace to connect, collaborate, learn and share information. You can share videos within an organization or with a specific person or people, watch and share videos from your mobile device, and start and attend live-streaming events. A very useful feature of Microsoft Stream is the captioning and interactive transcript that is auto-generated for each video. Once you have uploaded a video to your Microsoft Stream account and the captioning has rendered, you can fully edit and customize these captions using the interactive transcript.

You need Adobe Reader to view and print these documents.

 Using YouTube to Caption Videos

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) provides instructions for Captioning YouTube Videos using YouTube's auto transcription service.  A printable copy of the instructions is also available on their website.

Additional Resources

Using Google Docs for Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Did you know Google Docs has built in OCR? OCR is useful in the process of converting inaccessible scanned documents into documents that are accessible for someone using screen reading software.

You need Adobe Reader to view and print these documents.

UDL On Campus
CAST’s site for Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education.


Screen Reader Simulation
This simulation by WebAim provides a way to experience what it is like to use a screen reader.

Dyslexia Simulation
This simulation by WebAim provides you with the opportunity to interact with web content from the perspective of an individual with dyslexia. It is important to remember that this is one perspective and that each individual experiences dyslexia differently.

Misunderstood Experiences: Experience Firsthand
This website, from, provides a variety of simulations that focus on a variety of learning differences and disabilities.

Simulation: Math
This simulation is designed to help you understand and give insight into what it is like to have a math related learning disability.

Simulation: Writing
This simulation is designed to help you understand and give insight into what it is like to have a learning disability that affects a person's writing abilities.

Simulation: Reading
This simulation is designed to help you understand and give insight into what it is like to have a learning disability that affects a person's reading ability.


Article: Campus Technology: Essentials of Digital Accessibility
From "Essentials of Digital Accessibility" by Harriette L. Spiegel:

"Digital accessibility is a hot topic in higher education these days, and training faculty in creating accessible digital materials is on the mind of every instructional designer or educational technology team. The question of how to accomplish this training is a topic in itself, but this article outlines some of the most common issues that confront faculty when making their course content accessible. These issues are Headings, Alt Text, Meaningful Hyperlinks and Tables."