Teaching and Learning Resource Center

Five Ways to Improve Accessibility in Your Carmen Course

Want to make some big improvements to the accessibility of your CarmenCanvas course? It might be easier than you think! Below are five basic and highly impactful ways to improve accessibility in old courses and start out on the right foot with new courses!

In addition to what's shared below, check out Improve Accessibility in Your Course Using the Rich Content Editor.  

UX Tip

Universal Design

Accessibility is an essential aspect of Universal Design for Learning, a learner-focused approach to course design that considers your students' diverse characteristics, needs, and preferences.

Learn more about Universal Design for Learning.  

1. Add accessible course content

There are several common ways to add content to Carmen:

Following these best practices for adding content will get you quite far in making your course usable by all. Check out the video below for short demonstrations of basic steps to ensure content is accessible.

Learn more about creating accessible content in Carmen using the Rich Content Editor. 

UX Tip

Additional Accessibility Training

You can find various accessibility trainings in BuckeyeLearn, including Basic Web and Document Accessibility, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat (Basic, Complex Tables and Forms).

2. Add alternative text for images

Images add to a rich and engaging online course. However, students with vision disabilities rely on a screen reader to describe images to them so that they can gather the same meaning and context as sighted students. Carmen has several ways to add images to course content. Check out the video below for some easy ways to add alternative (alt) text to images depending on the method you use for uploading and adding images to the course. 

Learn more about adding alternative text in Carmen

3. Use descriptive hyperlinks

While it's easy just to copy and paste a link, this is not an accessible (or super helpful) way to link students to additional content. Check out the video below for a demonstration of how to add hyperlinks in a way that is accessible and usable by all.

Learn more about adding descriptive links in Carmen.

4. Setup accessible tables

While more complex diagrams and tables might require alternative content or long descriptions, basic tables can be easily made accessible in Carmen. Check out the video below for a short demonstration. 

Learn more about creating tables in Carmen.

5. Add captions to video content

In compliance with the Ohio State Digital Accessibility Policy and Minimum Web Accessibility Standardsall lecture videos must provide captioning for those with an auditory disability. While captions are necessary for students with hearing disabilities, they improve the experience for many, including: 

  • ESL students
  • Students who are new to the terminology
  • Students who may have trouble understanding an instructor
  • Anyone who can't listen to a video with sound on their device

Adding captions will make your videos more usable and future-proof. Options for captions include hiring a caption supplier, using a DIY method, or the suggestions for the tools below: 


Zoom automatically creates transcripts for your cloud recordings. Transcriptions are downloadable in .vtt format and can create closed captions when uploaded to Mediasite along with your Zoom recording.  ​

Learn more about uploading your CarmenZoom recording and transcriptions to Mediasite.


PowerPoint does not provide closed captioning of recorded videos. One method of adding closed captioning is to upload your video to YouTube, which will add closed captioning to your video within 24 hours. 

Learn more about adding captions using YouTube.  


If you host your video on Mediasite, Ohio State's supported option for storing and sharing lecture videos, you can upload caption files to where the same video is stored on Mediasite. Mediasite is ad-free and offers additional analytic and interactivity options for your lecture videos. 

Learn more about captioning your Mediasite presentation.  


Additional Resources