Disability Resources for Students

Course Preparation Checklist

Getting Started

As an instructor, it is your responsibility and university obligation to support equal access to course materials and information for all your students. Here are a couple things that you can do before the quarter begins to help avoid unnecessary stress and frustration, not just for students who may need to request accommodation, but for all students in your class.
These simple steps will additionally expedite the work of Disability Resources for Students (DRS) in responding to any student accommodations that may be requested for your course.

Checklist Content:

  1. Update course Information in the Time Schedule.
  2. Make sure your course information, including the course textbook information is correct in the Time Schedule. You should use the UW Bookstore Course Materials request Form
    to list ALL the required course materials and texts, regardless of whether you want UW Bookstore to supply the materials, or clarify no materials are required for your course.

    Please see the UW Bookstore Faculty Adoptions FAQs for information about how to submit your required materials,including course packs, library resources, and non-book materials. For other changes, please contact your department’s Time Schedule Coordinator or Clearkship Administrator to have them display in the Time Schedule. For other changes, please contact your department’s Time Schedule Coordinator or Clerkship Administrator.

  3. Review your Canvas courses.
    1. Check accessibility of your course materials using Ally. Update any inaccessible materials or provide alternative formats.
      1. Note: A common issue that creates problems for PDF accessibility is when the text is scanned at an angle. Ally will catch these and it is a simple matter of re-scanning the PDF so that the text is horizontal.
    2. Clear the clutter.
      1. Update your syllabi to have only the latest updated readings listed. Make sure to reference specific chapters and/or page numbers of texts that you don’t expect the students to read in their entirety.
      2. Remove any files or links to articles and other material that you don’t plan to use. We tend to collect old files in our Canvas year after year that becomes clutter for students and an unnecessary potential legal liability for you.
    3. Add the Access and Accommodations statement to your course syllabus.
    4. Letting your students know that you care and are willing to help them get the resources they need to be successful in your classroom is a powerful statement.

  4. Check your email regularly.
  5. DRS will email you with specific requests for student accommodation in your class. You have a legal obligation to respond to these in a timely manner to provide the student with the support they need.

  6. Remind TAs of their responsibilities.
  7. Have them:

    1. Review their section’s materials to make sure that any readings are current and accessible.
    2. Check-in with students about their needs in labs/sections as major deadlines approach.
  8. Make iterative progress.
  9. Each quarter, commit to making some progress in improving your courses to better accommodate students.

Some useful resources include: