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Disabilities: Compliance issues for the online classroom

Information on this page pertains to the disability polices and procedures for online learning.  Our SWC DSS office has the final determination about compliance and adherence to the section 501 disability requirements for online students. Their policies and procedures follow

  • Students with disabilities must identify themselves to you before accommodations are given.
  • After they have identified themselves they need to contact our DSS office
  • When they contact the DSS office they will be appraised what their disability requires for
    "reasonable" accommodations per state law.
  • When the DSS process is complete then you as their instructor will receive notification
    of what you need to do in your classroom, either online, blended or traditional face to face.
  • If you are teaching an online class and have a student with disabilities the accommodations are normally allowing extra time to complete assignments and take tests.
  • Contact the Online Learning Center to find out how Blackboard technology accommodates these needs.

Use alt tags for pictures.​

  • Caption videos and multi-media presentations (We can use the DECT grant for this – so faculty can have this done at no cost).
  • Provide information for imbedded links – for example, click on this link to go to the xxxx page, etc.
  • Upload only Word PDF files – no scanned files.

Go to the DSS Website

The DSS Mission is to develop an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable educational environment at Southwestern College that promotes student success through innovative accommodations, programs, training and partnerships with students, educators, and the community.

Back to FAQ's

Disability Support Services

Who is Eligible?

DSS provides services, academic accommodations and resources for students with disabilities to achieve academic success. Accommodations and services include:

A student must meet the following criteria:

Contact Disability Support Services
General Access Strategies by Media Type

 Make use of semantic markup capabilities to identify message elements such as headings, lists, page numbers, and footnotes. Use at least 11 pt fonts, and always ensure strong contrast between the font color and the background color. When possible, utilize a style sheet so the end user can determine how text will be rendered. HTML is generally accessible to most assistive technologies, such as screen readers and electronic reading systems.


 Provide a textual equivalent that can be rendered into an accessible format via assistive technology for non-sighted viewers. Keep your descriptions concise and specific to the main point of the image. For complex images, describe the image using a caption or a separate text document that can be accessed via the 'longdesc' attribute.


Provide a text transcript of the audio information that can be rendered into an accessible format via assistive technology for students with disabilities.


Captioning should be put in place (open or closed) in order to provide an equivalent experience for individuals who are unable to hear the audio content.


Complex media, which includes applications, interactive content, a content management system, or a file containing multiple media types (i.e., text, images, audio, and video), must begin with the best practices for accessibility in each of the included media types. In addition, appropriate markup of headings and other content must be applied to each of the different media types from beginning to end. By applying appropriate markup and definition to content, as well as the document or delivery system it is contained within, assistive technologies can better process and interact with the complex media.






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