Tips to make lecture materials accessible

No doubt you will be using some legacy content as well as planning to stream live lectures into this Academic year.

This article will help you understand how to make your content accessible to deaf students.

Live lectures


With your live lectures, you can continue providing access using the same methods that you have been using up until now for deaf students.

I.e. if a student has historically worked with BSL Interpreters, this would continue during remote learning.

CLICK HERE To read How to include a deaf person in a video conference

Remote lectures


We would recommend that you continue providing the support that the deaf student has been receiving up until now.  To continue with any BSL Interpreting and/or Notetaking, but have this happen remotely.

Never replace BSL Interpreting with Notetaking or Captioning.



BSL and English have different grammatical structures.

English: What’s your name?


So you have:

  • A different grammatical structure
  • Intonation and emphasis are lost as notes only offer plain language.  In BSL, these grammatical functions are represented in body language, facial expressions and tone of signing.  So, if a lecturer is putting emphasis on something, marking a level of importance on a particular subject, terminology, or deadline date.  This information would be missed if just in plain text
  • With the speed of auto-captioning it is likely that details will be missed
  • There will be existing signs that have been established for certain concepts – if these turn up in written language and are not received as learning in the same way

Word of caution!

Don’t go for automated captions – as there are too many inaccuracies at the moment.  It may seem like an easy option, but it would not allow deaf students to access all of the content on par with their peers.

Pre-recorded/Legacy content


If you have legacy content or videos (don’t forget these!) that are being shared within the lectures, don’t forget that these also need to be accessible.

If possible, consider having the lecture BSL Interpreted (using the student’s suppliers) and have these clips added to the clip – we can help!

If this isn’t possible, you will need to get these captioned.

Anything that you use that is legacy will need to be made accessible.

For any advice on what we’ve talked about in this article or for getting deaf students back to University – book a call.

Click here to book.