Guide iconPostsecondary Course Accessibility Guide

This Postsecondary Course Accessibility Guide includes accessibility criteria based on provincial requirements and recommendations. Use this fillable Guide along with its Reference Manual to review and improve accessibility in university or college courses. To access the French language version of this Guide, select “FR” from the top navigation menu.

How to Use This Guide

Step 1: Download and save the fillable Guide

Step 2: Use the Guide to review accessibility in a course, and refer to the Reference Manual as needed

  • In the space provided at the beginning of page 2, enter the name of the course you are reviewing.
  • Use the checkboxes to identify how a course already meets accessibility criteria and where gaps exist. For each of the criteria, select from the response options:
    • Yes: This criterion is met
    • No: This criterion is not met
    • Unsure: I’m unsure if this criterion is met
    • NA: Not Applicable to this course
  • If you need clarification on an accessibility criterion, follow the criterion’s link to the Reference Manual for more information (i.e., definitions, rationale, examples of impact, sources for the criteria).
  • If you responded 'no' or 'unsure' to any criteria, refer to the Reference Manual to learn how to meet those criteria.
  • For further information on accessibility, refer to the following additional resources:

Step 3: Save your responses

About This Guide

This Postsecondary Course Accessibility Guide was created to prepare for the arrival of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Postsecondary Education Standards. The Guide’s accessibility criteria are drawn from the following sources:

This Guide aims to help postsecondary instructors and instructional support specialists identify how a course already meets accessibility requirements, where accessibility gaps can be addressed, and where institutional support or change is needed.

Throughout the Guide, person-first language is used, with the recognition that institutions who prefer to use identity-first language can modify the language when they adapt the Guide for their setting.

Development of the Guide

With funding from eCampus Ontario, peer reviews and user experience testing were conducted on drafts of the Guide from January – March, 2024. Peer review and user experience testing participants included instructors, instructional support staff, students, and subject matter experts in accessibility. Participants included individuals with and without disabilities, in a variety of disciplines (STEM and non-STEM) from Ontario universities and colleges.

Customize the Guide for Your Institution

This Guide is available under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0) which allows you to tailor the Guide to your institution. For example, you can refer to the names of your institution’s learning management system and student accessibility services. You can also add links to your institution’s policies and instructional support resources. All adapted Guides must include an attribution to the original, be used for noncommercial purposes, and be re-shared under the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. To access the editable files for this Guide, visit the eCampusOntario Open Library.

About the Guide’s Author

Dr. Christine Zaza holds a PhD in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo. She has completed postdoctoral research on chronic pain management as well as graduate certificates in positive education, learning disabilities, and adult learning. 

At the University of Waterloo, Christine has held instructional support roles in the Centre for Extended Learning and the Centre for Teaching Excellence where she focused on accessibility and inclusive instruction. She has developed numerous accessibility resources to help instructors and staff increase inclusivity.

Christine has over 20 years of experience teaching university courses and is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in the Faculty of Health, where she developed and taught Waterloo’s undergraduate and graduate Mental Health Literacy courses.

Christine is also a member of the Disability Inclusion Team as the University of Waterloo’s Workplace Accessibility Specialist. A strong advocate for accessibility, Christine is recognized for her expertise in accessibility, universal design, and mental health literacy.

Territorial Acknowledgement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.



eCampusOntario logo and Government of Ontario logoThe Postsecondary Course Accessibility Guide was developed into a peer-reviewed online resource with funding from eCampusOntario and the Government of Ontario. The views expressed in this publication are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario or the Ontario Online Learning Consortium.

Author and Project Lead

  • Christine Zaza, PhD
    Workplace Accessibility Specialist, University of Waterloo

Project Development Team and Consultants

  • Jean-Pascal Beaudoin, M.A.P. – Inclusive Pedagogies Consultant (Accessibility and French Language versions)
    Senior Specialist, Teaching and Learning Support Service, University of Ottawa
  • Kathryn Blair – Consultant (Copyright)
    Copyright Specialist, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • Stephanie Boragina, MMath – Consultant (Accessibility and Web Design)
    Online Learning Consultant, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • Michele Brannon-Hamilton, MET – Consultant (Accessibility and Technical Writing)
    Michele Brannon-Hamilton Consulting
  • Kate Brown – Consultant (Accessibility)
    Accessibility and AODA Consultant, McMaster University
  • MCIS Language Solutions
    French translation of content
  • Cristelle Rovedo, MSEd, OCT – Review and Copyediting
    Learning Technologies Analyst, Production, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • Danielle Vander Wekken – Web Developer
    Instructional Digital Media Developer, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • Tanya Wakelin, MA, BEd – Consultant (Accessibility)
    Manager eLearning, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Durham College
  • Kristin Wilson, PhD - Facilitator (Peer reviews and user experience testing)
    Digital Learning Research Lead and Online Learning Consultant, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • Pia Zeni, MA - Facilitator (Peer reviews and user experience testing)
    Senior Manager, Strategic Projects, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo

Suggested Citations

Suggested citation for this Guide: Zaza, C. (2024). Postsecondary Course Accessibility Guide. University of Waterloo. [insert url and delete brackets]. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0

Suggested citation for adapted version of this Guide: [Name, year]. Postsecondary Accessibility Guide for [Name of college]. Adapted from Zaza, C. (2024). Postsecondary Course Accessibility Guide. University of Waterloo. [insert url and delete brackets]. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 [Short summary of any changes or alterations from original.]