Accessible Syllabus Template with Instructions

  1. Click to open or save one of the following links:
  2. If you would like to save the template for future use, save it to a location that is easy to remember and navigate to. Otherwise, choose the option to open the file in Microsoft Word.
  3. Microsoft Word will open a new document based on the template.
  4. Save the document with a meaningful and descriptive name before moving on. Word will prompt you to save it as a .docx file, which is the default document type for Word. Be sure to save it with the .docx file extension.
  5. The template is set up with styles in a manner that will make the resulting document accessible to screen reading software. The styles include headings that result in the document having a hierarchical structure shown below. You can click View → Navigation Pane on the Word Ribbon to view this structure (you can click any of the headings in the Navigation Pane to be taken to that section in the document).
    Course Prefix, Number, and Title
    University Name:
    Academic Term/Year:
    Last date to Drop and receive 100% refund:
    Last date to Withdraw and earn a grade of “W”:
    Course Meeting Time and Location:
    Instruction Information:
    Phone Number(s):
    Email Address:
    Office Hours:
    Approved Course Description:
    Catalog Description:
    Additional Course Information:
    Course Prerequisite(s):
    Technology Skills:
    Course Materials:
    Required Textbook(s):
    Required Supplementary Materials:
    Optional Materials:
    Student Support:
    DSU Knowledge Base:
    D2L Support for Students:
    Course Delivery and Instructional Methods:
    Classroom Policies:
    Attendance and Make-up Policy:
    Accessibility Statement:
    Academic Honesty Statement:
    Communication and Feedback:
    Preferred Email Contact Method:
    Email Response Time:
    Feedback on Assignments:
    Requirements for Course Interaction:
    Names and Pronouns: (this section is present in the Optional-Statements template)
    Student Learning Outcomes:
    Evaluation Procedures:
    Final Examination:
    Performance Standards and Grading Policy:
    Student Verification Statement and Proctoring Policy:
    Tentative Course Outline and Schedule:
    Freedom in Learning Statement:
    COVID-19 Policies: (this section is present in the Optional-Statements template)
  6. Now you will be able to begin filling out the fields of the accessible syllabus. This is how it should initially appear:
    Initial appearance
  7. When you enter a field (when it has the focus) it will appear highlighted like the field shown above. Simply begin typing to replace the placeholder text. When you begin typing the field will be replaced by text that uses either the Normal or IndentedParagraph style.
  8. If you wish to have text appear immediately below the previous line and not in a new paragraph, you can do so by hitting Shift and Enter.
  9. After you have typed the text you want to appear in the field, you can move to the next field by pressing the (down arrow) key. You can also click on the field with the mouse to select it and begin typing.
    Partially completed
  10. The last dates that students can Drop or Withdraw from a class can be found on DSU’s Academic Calendar.
  11. For the Approved course description:, you can use the course description from the DSU Catalog.
  12. If you do not use all of the “Optional” or “Additional” sections, I suggest replacing the placeholder text with None.
  13. Links to the final exam schedule can be found on DSU’s Academic Calendar.
  14. Keep the following points in mind when adding any content to the document:
    • If you insert or paste more text at the end of the document, apply the Heading1 and Heading2 styles as appropriate. Use these steps to do so:
      1. Select the text that should be a heading.
        Selected text
      2. On the Home tab, click the Heading1 style in the Styles group.
      3. The text should now appear as a main heading.
        Heading1 Style applied
    • Any images that are inserted or pasted into the document should have an Alt Text attribute. Use these steps to add the Alt Text attribute to an image:
      1. Right click on the image and choose Format Picture…
      2. In the Format Picture task pane, select the image and choose the Alt Text option.
        Format Picture task pane
      3. Titles and descriptions provide alternative, text-based representations of the information contained in tables, diagrams, images, and other objects. This information is useful for people with vision or
        cognitive impairments who may not be able to see or understand the object. A title can be read to a person with a disability and is used to determine whether they wish to hear the description of the
  15. To ensure that the document is free of accessibility errors after it has been completed, click the Review tab and then the Check Accessibility button:
    Check Accessibility button
    The Accessibility pane should appear on the right side of the window. If the document is free of accessibility issues, the Accessibility Inspection Results will display the message shown below:
    Accessibility Inspection Results showing that the document is free of accessibility issues.