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While online learning has the capacity to open up new opportunities for students with disabilities, it also has the potential to present barriers to learning if accessibility is not considered from the outset.

As McMaster courses and meetings are transitioning to online spaces, please take a moment to consider the impacts that inaccessible digital formats, technologies and platforms may have on individuals with disabilities, and in particular, those who use assistive technologies to navigate online spaces.

To support you best in creating and maintaining accessible online education and meeting spaces, the following best practices and skill-building tutorials and resources have been put together to enhance the accessibility and usability of the McMaster-supported technologies you may be accessing, as well as digital content you may be creating.

**Please note that these resources have been developed and organized to support content formatting, recording and publishing, and not to replace accessible course design and / or pedagogies. Techniques demonstrated within this series will specifically address access to digital content for learners and instructors with various disabilities.

For more information on accessibility and inclusion pedagogies and instructional techniques, please visit McMaster’s FLEX Forward Accessible and Inclusive Education resource or visit the Macpherson Institute Teaching and Learning Centre’s Teaching Remotely page.

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Captioning video content supports accessibility for learners who may be deaf/Deaf, hard-of hearing, have cognitive / learning disabilities, who do not speak English as a first language, and/or who may have poor internet / audio access at home.

There are differences, however, between and among McMaster e-learning and meeting platforms in terms of captioning features that can be accessed in order to:

Remote Teaching and Captioning

The following resource on Remote Teaching and Captioning has been developed by the Faculty of Sciences to helpfully guides learners and instructors through captioning capabilities for institutionally-supported teaching, learning and meeting platforms McMaster.

This guide is particularly helpful for proactive accessibility measures applied to online learning environments and virtual classrooms, and is not a replacement for Student Accessibility Services’ academic accommodations for video / audio captioning.

If a learner in your teaching and learning environment requires captioning as part of an academic accommodation, both Student Accessibility Services and Library Accessibility Services will support their accommodation needs.

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The Faculty of Sciences and the AccessMac Program (Equity and Inclusion Office) have collaborated to create an extensive and simplified webinar series that will guide learners through the various accessibility features and formatting techniques for Microsoft products.

Accessible Digital Content Training:

To access full text outlines for creating accessible documents and presentations, please access Social Sciences-developed training on:


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What is avenue to learn?

Avenue to Learn is the learning management system used by most faculties at McMaster. This learning management system is managed by the MacPherson Institute and support in setting up and managing an Avenue course shell can be accessed in the below “Get Support” section.

Accessibility for Avenue to Learn

Avenue to Learn is a well-designed and accessible learning management system, which can be rendered inaccessible to learners using assistive technology when digitally inaccessible content is uploaded to and shared within your Avenue course shell.

  • In order to avoid uploading inaccessible digital content:
    • Learn about Core Skills for Accessibility through Microsoft 365 Accessible Document and Outlook Email Training when creating your own content / digital documents and presentations
    • Quickly and efficiently convert your inaccessible documents (e.g. an inaccessible PDF) to accessible formats and/or alternative formats (MP3s, Microsoft Word docs, HTML) using institutionally supported SensusAccess conversion software
    • Be mindful that most PDF options are not accessible formats for individuals using various types of assistive technology unless they’ve been intentionally made accessible by the document’s author.

Get Support from the MacPherson Institute

For Additional Accessibility Support


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What is echo360?

Echo360 is a Lecture Capture System.  The system records audio and display, for viewing in digital format. This provides students with a powerful tool that can be used for review, or to supplement materials covered in class.

As a McMaster Instructor, you get access to Echo360 absolutely free.

Getting Started

  • Instructors can get started in learning more about and accessing Echo360 lecture capture software for your personal devices by contacting Classroom Campus Technologies (CCT) within the McMaster Libraries. CCT staff within the libraries will assist you with downloading software, software set-up, and supporting training for this platform.
  • Please visit the main Echo360 page on the Libraries’ website for more information about set-up and training.

Accessibility for Echo360

CCT, Library Accessibility Services, and the Faculty of Sciences have developed several useful and accessible guides to enabling accessibility features within Echo360, including:

If you have learners in your online / blended learning environments who have academic accommodations for captioning lecture capture-recorded materials, please connect with Student Accessibility Services and Library Accessibility Services for support.


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What is kaltura capture?

Kaltura Capture is a program that allows for easy video and audio creation without specialized equipment. It combines an intuitive user interface with a user-centric experience and interactive viewing to enable easy video creation on campus, from the office, at home or on-the-go. Any media created with Kaltura Capture is automatically stored in your personal MacVideo Media Library and can be easily integrated in Avenue to Learn

Kaltura Capture is included in MacVideo, which is freely available to all McMaster instructors, staff and students.

Getting Started

Accessibility for Kaltura Capture

The MacPherson Institute has developed or curated the following resources on accessibility features and guidance related to Kaltura Capture and MacVideo use:

If you have learners in your online / blended learning environments who have academic accommodations for captioning recorded materials, please connect with Student Accessibility Services and Library Accessibility Services for support.


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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaborative hub (and part of the Office365 suite of programs – free for McMaster staff and students)

Accessibility for Microsoft Teams

Get support from the macpherson institute

Zoom Videoconferencing

All eligible McMaster faculty, staff and active students now have access to licensed Zoom accounts. Please note that:

  • In some cases, users may need to request a Zoom license. Generic, Departmental and Role-Based accounts are not eligible for a Zoom license.
  • We are still recommending students go with MS Teams for web and video conferencing needs.

See the IT Continuity site for more information.

Accessibility for Zoom

Get Support from UTS and the MacPherson Institute

McMaster’s WebEx Platform

WebEx is a McMaster supported tool used for meetings, web and video conferencing.

Accessibility for WebEx

Get Support from Avenue, Webex, and the Macpherson institute


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MacVideo is a video-creation and sharing tool that is integrated into Avenue to Learn

  • Please visit the MacVideo Knowledge Base for all information you will require to understand how to use MacVideo, including auto-captioning and caption editing, video capturing and video uploading.

microsoft stream

Microsoft Stream is an institutionally supported video hosting platform at  that supports accessible and high quality video hosting with automatic transcription generation.

Accessibility for microsoft Stream