Web accessibility allows for students with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact, and contribute to their courses which have online components. This article summarizes strategies you may use to make sure your documents and Blackboard site are accessible. Making teaching materials accessible helps them work better with assistive technologies, which is equipment that is used to enhance the functional capabilities of students with disabilities. The following is an Accessibility Checklist you may use:
- For all Images and Objects (including Tables) ‘Alt Text’ titles and descriptions are included (PowerPoint, Word, Blackboard, etc.) In PowerPoint, this is accomplished by right clicking on Picture>Select Format Picture>Select Alt Text>Insert Title and Description
- In Word, all objects have text wrapping set to ‘in line with text’
- Column headers are identified for Tables. Tables have simple structures (For example, there are no nested tables, merged cells, etc)
- Link names are meaningful (e.g. Google Search Engine This is helpful so that screen readers do not read the entire link name including ‘http://www.’)
Titles and Headings
- In PowerPoint, all slides have titles and all the titles are unique. (They can even be set to invisible, where they will still be read by screen readers.)
- In Word, styles or headings are used to help organize the content.
- San Serif fonts are used instead of Serif fonts. (e.g. Recommended: Arial, Tahoma, and Verdana. Not recommended: Times New Roman, Georgia)
- Pdf documents are ‘text searchable’. They are not scanned images (If scanned, they may be converted using Adobe Acrobat (File>Action Wizard>Make Accessible)
Audio and Video
- Audio and video materials are closed-captioned. (There will be a follow article on how to use Youtube to transcribe) There are also transcription services such as 3PlayMedia.
You can also use the Accessibility Checker within Power Point, Word, and Excel to make sure that everyone can read your document.
- Click on File menu and choose ‘Info’ from the drop down
- Click on ‘Check for issues’ button
- Choose ‘Check for accessibility’ from drop down
- The ‘Accessibility Checker’ shows the inspection results. Click on each to find out why and how to fix the issue.
For more information and assistance on making your course accessible, please contact email@example.com.