Last Revised: 2/14/2019 by cah
Make sure all students have access to your text documents or items in HuskyCT by formatting your pages with accessibility in mind.
Faculty are often unaware their students are using assistive technology to read their instructional materials. Digital text which is not formatted in the right way, may not be accessible or readily readable to students who depend on screen readers or other assistive technology to process written information. Here are four quick things you can do to make sure ALL your students are able to read your documents:
- Format Accessible Text Headers:
- Use built in styles and headers, not formatting tools to create decorative text. Using the built in headers and styles helps assistive technology understand the order of the document and users will be able to navigate your document logically.
- Create Accessible Tables:
- Assistive technology counts cells to navigate around tables. Split cells, merged cells, nested cells, and blank cells all cause problems for assistive technology and should be avoided. In addition, tables should contain headers to let assistive technology identify rows and headers.
- Format Accessible Lists:
- Avoid the use of tabs, symbols or other formatting to create lists. Lists provide important hierarchical information to assistive technology. Use ordered lists for those items in a sequence and unordered lists for groups of items.
- Use Meaningful Link Text:
- Assistive technology can scan a document for links, so link text should convey meaning and not rely on surrounding text. Avoid the use of “click here” or similar phrases for link text. Also, avoid using full web addresses as link text. Links should stand out from surrounding text with color and underlining.
Other things to keep in mind when creating accessible content in HuskyCT:
- Include ALT tags when adding images. How to Add Alternative Text (Alt. Text) to images in HuskyCT
- Close caption videos.
- Create accessible PDF documents. Often times PDFs are created by scanning a document or printing to PDF. These methods result in a PDF that is NOT accessible. Refer to Adobe’s Create and Verify PDF Accessibility
- Use appropriate colors and contrast: Optimize Readability Using Contrast and Color
For more information, refer to:
- IT Accessibility
- Blackboard’s Create Online Content
- WebAIM instructions on converting documents to PDF