Making Math Accessible

For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a SUNY working group focused on math accessibility. This is a thorny issue, with lots of variables (pun intended).

Two of my colleagues from this group recently presented at the SUNY CPD’s OTTER Institute. This hour-long presentation packed in many details and options for how to layer accessibility considerations into your current practices for sharing math content with students.

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Canvas: Immersive Reader Enabled

A new feature that allows the use of Microsoft Immersive Reader when viewing items in the Modules and Pages tool has been enabled in Canvas.

Immersive Reader icon

Microsoft Immersive Reader aids English reading comprehension, aids people with reading differences (such as Dyslexia), offers translations of the text, allows for color contrast and font changes, and can read aloud text and equations. A summary of the Immersive Reader implementation for Canvas is available in the Canvas Release Notes.

While we currently benefit from this free-trial, we need your help in understanding the value of this tool. Please share your feedback with

Caption This! Workshop Resources

The EdTech team recently partnered with the Center for Digital Learning and the Office off Accessibility Services in a workshop that discussed captioning options for recorded Zoom meetings and lectures.

Closed Caption logo

Uploading recorded videos to YouTube for captioning is the quickest way to automatic captioning and transcripts. This guide walks through the steps. Editing YouTube’s auto-captions will ensure that your students have the best experience when watching your lectures.

The attached presentation outlines the importance of captioning, including why, what, and when we caption. You may also find it helpful to read this article on how to make your virtual meetings and events more accessible.

For questions about captioning or other accessibility issues, email

Alternative Formats in Canvas: Making PDFs More Accessible

Graph of alternative format downloads by Geneseo users from 8/24 to 9/7/2020

When Geneseo’s Canvas added the accessibility program Blackboard Ally in March 2020, a host of new tools became available for both faculty and students. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore what new powers you have for making course content both more accessible and more useful.

One new item is Alternative Formats, which gives download options without any extra effort on a faculty member’s part. While it’s primarily intended for student use, it offers clear advantages to faculty, as well. And, as you can see, our Canvas users are already putting it to work.

graph showing how many times the alternate formats window was launched, and how many items were downloaded, each day between 8/24 - 9/7
Two weeks into the semester, Geneseo Canvas users have downloaded alternative formats of course files almost 1500 times.
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