Choose Accessible Learning Materials (C.A.L.M.)
Why We Keep C.A.L.M.
Choosing accessible learning materials (C.A.L.M.) is one avenue for achieving the goals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). In the context of teaching and learning, UDL is one way to actively include people with disabilities, and at its foundation makes learning available to the broadest possible audience. An additional benefit of choosing accessible learning materials is the usability that it brings to the entire audience. As a simple example, choosing an already closed captioned video may be required for a student who is hard-of-hearing, but that choice benefits a myriad of other students such as visual learners and multilingual students.
Roadmap For Keep C.A.L.M.
Virginia Tech Policy 7215 (PDF) stipulates that as a campus community we will promote "equal access opportunity to electronic and information technology (EIT)". This is accomplished through adherence to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA (WCAG). For a brief overview of the legal aspects, please view our Standards and Guidelines page. In a technology environment that is regularly changing, it is important to keep abreast of current best practices and strategies. As part of our on-going efforts to comply with Policy 7215 and keep the university community up-to-date, we invite you to participate in our current and future Keep C.A.L.M campaigns.
- 2018-2019: Caption On & Check Contrast
- 2019-2020: Describe Images
- 2020-2021: Use Ally
- 2021-2022: Use Meaningful Links
- 2022-2023: Simplify Slides
- 2023-2024: Use Headings
Help Us Keep C.A.L.M.
The best way to get involved is to participate in one of our current campaigns and sport some campaign swag:
General ItemCaption On
As part of our Keep C.A.L.M. campaign, we are choosing to make closed captions a priority to help us meet WCAG standard 1.2.2. By choosing already closed captioned content, or creating closed captions, your message increases in clarity and effectiveness.
General ItemCheck Contrast
As part of our Keep C.A.L.M. campaign, we are encouraging members of the university community to check the colors used in their digital resources to make sure that they provide enough contrast for people to read comfortably.
General ItemDescribe Images
As part of our Keep C.A.L.M. campaign, we are choosing to make describing images a priority to help us meet WCAG standard 1.1.1. By describing images verbally and writing alternative text for images, your message increases in clarity and effectiveness.
General ItemSimplify Slides
When you present or teach, ensuring your slides are simple and accessible means that your entire audience is going to be able to fully engage with and learn from the content you are creating.
General ItemUse Ally
As part of our Keep C.A.L.M. campaign, we are choosing to use Ally to check content accessibility within the Canvas LMS. This helps us meet the requirements of VT Policy 7215 to ensure conformance with WCAG 2.0. By using Ally, rich content and document uploads will be more accessible and usable to all students.
General ItemUse Headings
Headings are essential for improving the readability, accessibility, and usability of webpages or digital documents and presentations. Similar to news headlines, headings organize and describe the content that follows.
General ItemUse Meaningful Links
As part of our Keep C.A.L.M. campaign, we are choosing to make proper link usage a priority. Help us meet WCAG standard 2.4.9 by removing "click here" and writing meaningful link text instead. This makes your content more mobile friendly and accessible.