Accessibility and Teaching

What is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

In 2005, the Ontario Government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which requires that Ontario be an accessible province by 2025. To help public, private and not-for-profit organizations identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility, the AODA sets out specific accessibility standards in five areas:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Information and Communications
  3. Employment
  4. Transportation
  5. Built Environment

The NC Accessibility Plan has been prepared to address issues and barriers preventing persons with disabilities from participating fully in the Niagara College community. This is a multi-year Plan that outlines how we intend to identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility, as well as our strategy in meeting the various requirements under the AODA legislation.

How does AODA impact me?

As an educator you must create materials, use media, and teach in ways that meet Ontario’s standards for accessibility.

In order to help educators meet AODA requirements the following resources help in creating material, using media and teaching in ways that meet the Ontario standards for accessibility. Specifically, it contains checklists and step-by-step instructions on creating accessible media (Microsoft Office and pdf documents, videos and websites) as well as information on teaching students with various abilities.

Creating accessible documents:

Checklist for accessible print documents
  • Use large text size between 12 and 18 points.
  • Use a sans serif font (such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana).
  • Make sure that all information conveyed with colour can also be conveyed without colour
    Ex) If you highlight text is red also bold the text. Important parts of your content should not only be indicated by colour.
  • Use appropriate colour contrast. To check colour contrast you may .
  • If your document is text heavy, consider separating it into columns.
  • Don’t crowd your text; use appropriate letter spacing.
  • Using italics or uppercase letters for emphasis is not recommended.
  • Space between lines should be at least 25-30% of the point size.
  • Use a matte or non-glossy finish.
Creating accessible presentations

When teaching or facilitating a workshop, you may have to accommodate people with visual, hearing, psychiatric, learning speech and mobility impairments. it is therefore very important to assure that any material used in the teaching session be accessible, to make sure that everyone can participate equally in the session, whether someone chooses to disclose their disability or not. This checklist allows you to make sure that your presentation material meets accessibility standards.

Checklist for accessible slideshow presentations
  • Use high contrast between foreground and background.
  • Use a minimum of 16 point font.
  • Use a sans serif font (such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana).
  • Have a plain background—avoid busy patterns.
  • Avoid cluttered screens (too many images or words).
  • Video and audio material must be captioned. Contact the Marketing Department for information about captioning services for YouTube videos.