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ADA Guidelines

Online instructors take a great deal of time creating online courses that foster academic growth in their content area; however, they are often unaware of the simple strategies to adapt their courses to meet ADA compliance.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, states that all individual should have equal accessibility — including online instructional opportunities. ADA requires that all online courses be fully compliant from the start of the course, which can be challenging.


Here is a quick checklist for ADA Compliance in Online Courses. 



  • Provides wordings for the links. Avoids using “click here” for links.
  • Uses text descriptions for the links.



  • Uses sans serif fonts for easy readability.
  • Uses dark font colors on light backgrounds (preferably use black text on a white background).
  • Avoids extremely bright colors as a background color.
  • Uses one font throughout the course.
  • Avoids overuse of all CAPS, bold or italics.
  • Avoids underlining words, unless it is a link.



  • Images are clear.
  • Image files are optimized for efficient loading.
  • Don’t use animated images unless important for learning.
  • All Images have alt texts/long descriptions attached to them.



  • Audio quality is clear.
  • A written transcript is provided with all audio files.



  • Video quality is clear.
  • Video file length to download the file on computers with lower bandwidths.
  • Provides closed-captioning or has accompanying text-based scripts for all videos.

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