According to research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Forrester Data in 2004, "57 percent of working-age computer users in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 64 (more than 74 million Americans) could benefit from accessible technology because of mild-to-severe vision, hearing, dexterity, speech, and cognitive difficulties and impairments that interfere with their ability to perform routine tasks — including their use of computers." According to a U. S. Census Bureau report from July 2012, nearly 1 in 5 people in the U. S. have some sort of disability. So most likely, faculty will have at least one student with some sort of disability.
Many things you can do to make content accessible is of universal value to everyone. For example, close captioning on videos benefit users in noisy environments, for videos in other languages, etc.
HTML is the preferred format for online course content, but there are things you can do to make other file formats accessible. Here are a some one page PDF cheat sheets for making you course content accessible.
- MS Office Accessibility Training Videos
- WebAIM - Screen Reader User Survey 2019 (n=1,224)
Watch this video (59:31) for a perspective on how people with various disabilities access the web.
Direct link: Virtual Panel: How Persons with Disabilities Use the Web (59:21)