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ETSU Accessibility

East Tennessee State University

Accessible Syllabus Template

As part of the TBR Accessibility Initiative, ETSU is seeking to make all course syllabi accessible by the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. In order to aid the University in the accomplishment of this large task, Academic Technology Services (ATS) has built an accessible syllabus template that instructors may utilize. This template adheres to common principles of accessibility, and provides a good starting point for anyone seeking to make an accessible course syllabus.

Syllabus Template Preview ImageDownload the on-ground course template  Download the online course template  

Customizing the Template

The syllabus template has been designed to incorporate the most common components of course syllabi. However, you will still need to fill in information regarding your specific course, and you may also need to add or remove sections to the document. As you customize the document, please ensure that any new content you add is accessible. An easy way to determine whether or not your document is accessible is to use Microsoft Word's built-in accessibility checker.

Accessibility Features of the Template

Want to know what makes this template accessible? Read below to discover its primary features.

Tagged Headings

All headings in the syllabus template are tagged with the appropriate heading style for easy navigation.

Image of a tagged heading inside of the Microsoft Word application interface.

Meaningful Links

All hyperlinks are given meaningful titles, ensuring that readers will have a better understanding of where they are being directed.

Image of a meaningful link example within the syllabus template.

Alternative Text

The included image of the ETSU logo has alternative text applied to it so that screen readers will know what to say about it.

Image of alt text being added to an image within the syllabus template under the 'format picture' menu in Microsoft Word.

Proper Reading Order

No content in the syllabus template is contained in 'floating' elements like text boxes, which enables assistive technologies to read the document in the order it was meant to be read.

Proper Color Contrast

All of the font colors in the syllabus template have a color contrast ratio of 5.9:1 or higher, which exceeds the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines for readability.


If you have any questions or comments about the syllabus template then please direct them to . If you need assistance using the syllabus or creating accessible materials then please call or email the Academic Technology Services office ( | 439-8611)

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