Five College Consortium

Universal Assessment

Anything that affects the way students are graded and evaluated deserves extra attention for issues around accessibility.  Consulting with one of your campus Tech Access contacts is an excellent place to start, and to go when you have questions.

Universal design (UD) is a set of principles intended to ensure that everyone can use and benefit from course materials, including assessments.  The goal is to focus the assessment on the specific content knowledge and skill, while allowing students a range of modes in which to demonstrate their learning.  The emphasis is on building materials and activities that utilize multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement. 


Assessments include tests, quizzes, assignments, and/or activities that may happen in or out of class. 

Qualities of an Accessible Assessment

Common Problems

  • Web-based or third-party modules
  • Specialized software
  • Inaccessible documents
  • Color is used to convey meaning in the site, service or document
  • Last-minute development does not leave adequate time to prepare accessible alternatives

Strategies for Accessibility

Help and Resources