Providing access to text in remote learning platforms


by Kindy Segovia, OTR
Assistive Technology Coordinator at Kent ISD, Grand Rapids, MI

With more schools moving to remote learning platforms we must ensure that all learning remains accessible to ALL learners. Schools must provide access to materials for students with:

  • Visual impairment or blindness, deafness or loss of hearing, learning disability (print text reading, written expression or math), physical disability, cognitive impairment or Autism
  • This includes alternative access for text, videos, images and level of content

Questions to Consider

  • Is your remote learning platform accessible?
  • Have your educators worked to provide accessible digital materials?
  • If assistive technology is required, is it available to the student in the virtual environment?

Making Text Accessible – How to Begin

Create materials with accessibility in mind:

  • Use the built-in text formatting tools such as Styles (Title, Subtitles, Headings, etc.)
  • Use the numbered or bulleted list feature
  • Use simple fonts, in 12 font or larger, aligning text on the left
  • Use purposeful labels for hyperlinks (not “click here”)
  • Use high contrast for text/images and background
  • Use navigation landmarks – headers, footers, page numbers

Reading digital text aloud:

1. Use a text reader in the Chrome Browser for websites as well as the Google Suite (Docs, Slides, Forms, Classroom)

2. Use the built-in text reader in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Outlook or OneNote

3. Access external audio content for Instructional & academic books and materials

Kindy Segovia, OTR, is currently the Assistive Technology Coordinator at Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids, Mich. She has worked as an occupational therapist in both schools and pediatric rehabilitation for over 25 years. Find out more from Kindy at


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