The law requires that faculty who teach online or provide Web-based materials, ensure that the information is accessible to students with disabilities.
The following guidelines will help faculty and staff create or modify documents and Web-based materials that meet accessibility standards. This will help provide equal access to learning resources for students with disabilities. While there are many more guidelines that can be implemented, these basic items are easily addressed, even for users with no HTML experience.
- Alt Text for Images:
Remember that some users cannot see graphics. Alternative text or ALT text is used to describe these images. Null (empty) ALT text is used for decorative elements and long descriptions should be placed in the body of the document for items like charts and maps.
See Appropriate Use of Alternative Text for more information.
To provide ALT text for an image in Word 2010, right‐click on the image (Windows) or ctrl-click (MAC), select Format and then select the ALT Text tab or link. Enter the ALT text in the text area provided.
See Microsoft Word: Alternative text for images for more information.
In Blackboard, you will see a text area to add ALT text when adding an image.
Headings are used to divide content into main areas. In Word, you should use the built‐in heading tags rather than resize the fonts for normal text to create the appearance of a heading. Applications use these tags to communicate with users and other applications and most applications enable use of Headings, including Blackboard and Web editors.
See Microsoft Word: Headings for instructions on using this feature in different versions of Word.
A top level item (can have more than one) will be Heading 1; a subtopic of Heading 1 will be Heading 2, etc.
Provide sufficient contrast between text and background colors and do not convey meaning by color alone. For example, if you include required fields in a Web form, do not simply require fields next to red text be completed. You might include an asterisk so that persons with vision disabilities can understand the directions.
Read more about Visual Disabilities.
- Audio Files:
When using audio files, include a transcript of the recording for users with hearing disabilities.
- Video Files:
When using video files with audio, synchronized transcripts (captions) should be included for learners who have hearing disabilities. The method for accomplishing this will vary depending on the application you use for your video. If a video includes sub-titles, audio should be provided for students with vision impairments.
Use meaningful text for links. Do not simply use "click here" or "read more". Some students use assistive devices to read the links and these descriptions do not adequately describe the link target. Also, while typing the complete Web address is necessary for print documents, it is preferable to hyperlink meaningful text on the Web to avoid assistive devices reading out a very long string of text to the user. If using Microsoft Word, the ScreenTip tool can be used to include additional descriptive text.
See Microsoft Word: Links for information on creating accessible hyperlinks in different versions of MS Word.
NOTE: Do not underline text that is not a link; when viewing items online, users expect underlined text to be a hyperlink.
Tables should be used only to present data, not for layout of a page. Make sure that the content included makes sense when read from left to right, top to bottom. While Word does not currently support table headers (for rows and columns), if using HTML, include table headers and a table summary.
See Microsoft Word: Data tables and accessibility issues for more information about using tables in MS Word.
Please refer to the the CFCC Disability Services Faculty/Staff Handbook for Disability Services procedures, guidelines, and faculty and student responsibilities.
- Blackboard Accessibility
- CFCC Disability Services Faculty/Staff Handbook
- Microsoft Word Accessibility
- PDF Accessibility
- PowerPoint Accessibility