Each semester, as students request their approved accommodations for your class, a
notification is sent to your Cuesta College e-mail address. Accordingly, at the start
of each semester you may receive a number of these Faculty Notification Letters with
details about your student's accommodations. If you're not receiving DSPS notifications
in your Cuesta employee email inbox, please check your Junk Mail folder and mark the sender as safe to avoid missing future notifications.
In addition to receiving a Faculty Notification Letter when the student requests accommodations
for your class, you may visit the DSPS Faculty Portal (AIM) for an overview of student accommodations, including the ability to view a student's
Faculty Notification letter. Please see our Faculty Portal How To for steps on how to login and view your students' accommodations.
In order for DSPS to proctor exams with a student's accommodations in place, we require
faculty to complete an Alternative Testing Agreement specifying the parameters for
an exam. This is required for all in-person classes in which faculty are unable to
provide the student's accommodations and are thus unable to proctor the exam yourself.
Provide alternatives to online proctoring if necessary for accommodations
Students who have testing accommodations may need to use a different proctoring solution
if their accommodation is not compatible. Alternatively, if using remote proctoring,
please ensure settings are compatible with the student's accommodation using the platform's
configuration options (ProctorU, Honorlock).
Be flexible with your testing requirements, and provide students with the ability
to communicate any barriers they experience with assistive technology
Use question banks in Canvas to randomize questions and reduce the possibility of
Click the “Check Accessibility” icon. (Or in the “Tools” menu, click “Check Accessibility.”)
In the pane that appears beside your document, you see a list of accessibility issues.
Click an issue to highlight it in your document. The accessibility checker will suggest
for how to fix the problem you’ve selected.
How to access the Navigation Pane
The Navigation pane in Word lets you quickly search or navigate through your document
using the Heading structure.
To show the Navigation pane in Word, click the “View” tab in the Ribbon. For all document
views other than “Read Mode”, then check the “Navigation Pane” checkbox in the “Show”
If using “Read Mode”, then select the “Navigation Pane” choice from the “View” tab’s
drop-down menu, instead. By default, the Navigation pane appears at the left side
of the application window.
How to apply Heading Styles
Select “Home tab>Styles” (or “Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S” to open the “Styles pane”) and apply
heading styles to the headings in your document.
You can: Select the heading style you want and then type your heading, or
Type your heading, place your cursor anywhere within the heading, and then select
the heading style you want to use.
You may also right-click on the Heading Style and select "Update Heading to Match
Selection" to preserve the existing styling
If you have different heading levels (such as chapter, article, section, topic, etc.),
then you must use a different style for each heading type.
How to add Alt Text to Images
Assistive technology cannot infer meaning from images and other objects. Images and
other objects include pictures, images of text, images of tables, shapes, icons with
To enter “Alt Text”, select the image, object, or shape. “Right click” or “Shift+F10”
and select “Alt Text" (Note: could say Format Picture, Format Shape, etc.>Alt Text).
In the “Description” field, enter information that states the purpose (in as few words
as possible while remaining clear) for a meaningful image or object or check “Mark
as decorative” as appropriate. Then select “close”.
How to create descriptive Link Text
Assistive technology users rely on meaningful names to determine the destination,
function, or purpose of links. For example, multiple “click here” links are misleading
if the name for each link is the same, while the destinations differ.
To create a hyperlink, select or type the hyperlink text and either right click and
select “Hyperlink” or use “Ctrl+K” to open the “Insert Hyperlink” configuration window.
Specify/verify the “Text to display” and the “Address” for the link and its destination,
and select “OK”.
How to check Font & Contrast
The “Accessibility Checker” automatically checks for sufficient contrast between text
Ensure your font has good spacing and displays distinct characters accurately
If needed, use text to duplicate the meaning of information communicated using color
How to ensure Accessible Lists
Lists organize and structure content. Assistive technology users cannot infer meaning
if you just format with tabs, a dash, or a number.
Select “Home tab>Paragraph” and use the “Bullets,” “Numbering,” or “Multilevel List”
features when formatting lists in your document.
Mathematical equations and scientific formulas are made accessible either by using
special markup (such as MathML, which is automatically created by Canvas' Equation
Editor) or by providing appropriate alt text along with an image of the equation or
formula. This latter strategy is also available for making charts and graphs accessible.
Identify the instructional merit of an image. What is the main point? Is the image
more decorative than informative?
Keep the explanation of an image brief. How would you describe its purpose in a sentence?
Articulate the point of the image clearly. Would your explanation help the learner
to understand the point of the image? Would learners be more confused?
Ensure that your explanation is usable by all. How would you explain the image, if
you need to do so to someone over the phone? This helps a sighted person perhaps better
understand the experience of a non-sighted individual listening to alt text.
It is often more accessible to provide a table rather than narrative alt text in cases
where you're using a pie chart and/or bar chart.
For graphics that illustrate processes (e.g. flow charts), these can often be presented
in a nested list format instead/in addition.
If the information conveyed in the image/graphic is already represented in the text,
then a brief alt text description is all that's needed. The alt text could read "flow
chart representing the process discussed in the following text" or something simple
that directs the user to the text equivalent