Creating Accessible Content

Best practices

  • Provide closed-captioning on all video and multimedia content and determine if “Audio Description” is needed. ID&T can help facilitate audio descriptions.
  • Provide a transcript for all audio in your course including narrated PowerPoints, podcasts, and similar.
  • Provide alternative text for all images and alternative descriptions for all charts, diagrams and graphics.
  • Provide accessible MS Word documents. refer to the wiki for the steps)
  • Provide accessible PDF files. Avoid scanning to PDF. If MS Word docs are saved to PDF, ensure to maintain the document structure by clicking File / Save As / PDF and then under options checking the box Document Structure Tags for Accessibility.
  • Provide accessible PowerPoints. Make sure textboxes are in a logical order, not scattered randomly. This can be verifies by checking the presentation outline to view and, if necessary, re-order slides. Create ALT text and descriptions for all graphics and images in your PPT. ALT text and descriptions can be added by right clicking an item.
  • Provide accessible tables. Use tables wisely. Tables should not be used for layout purposes whether you are building in Word, PPT, HTML or the WorldClass HTML editor. Contact ID&T for assistance on building accessible tables.
  • Avoid using color for emphasis. Instead, use BOLD or italics for small amounts of text. Aim for contrast between text and background.
  • Consider the organization of your content. Use consistent, logical and simple language with headings.
  • When activities are required of students, consider the accessibility of external resources, tools and apps that will be used. Always have available an equivalent, alternative activity when needed. Contact ID&T for assistance.

Keep in mind that students may…

  • have difficulty seeing, hearing, or processing some types of information.
  • have difficulty reading or comprehending text.
  • be unable to use a keyboard or mouse.
  • have a text‐only screen, a small screen, or a slow Internet connection.
  • not speak or understand fluently the language in which the document is written.
  • be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands are busy or interfered with (e.g., driving to work, working in a loud environment, etc.).
  • have an early version of a browser, a different browser entirely, a voice browser, or a different operating system.

General tips

  • Provide closed-captioning on ALL video and multimedia content. ID&T can help facilitate this.
  • Provide a transcript for all audio in your course, such as narrated PowerPoints, podcasts or other audio content.
  • Provide alt text and alt descriptions for all images or graphics.
  • Provide accessible Word documents. (refer to the wiki for the steps)
  • Provide accessible PDF files. Avoid scanning to PDF. If you save your Word docs to PDF make sure you do it by FILE> save as > choose PDF and then under options you check the box “document structure tags for accessibility.
  • Provide accessible PowerPoints. Make sure textboxes are in a logical order, not scattered randomly. (check the outline to view or reading order) Create alt text and descriptions for all graphics and images in your PPT. (right click on the item to add alt text or descriptions)
  • Provide accessible tables. Use tables wisely. Tables should not be used for layout purposes whether you are building it in Word, PPT, HTML or in the WorldClass HTML editor. Contact us for assistance. We are happy to create accessible tables for you.
  • Avoid using color for emphasis, instead use BOLD or italics for small amounts of text. Aim for contrast between your text and background.
  • Consider the organization of your content. Use consistent, logical and simple language with headings.
  • When activities are required of students, consider the accessibility of external resources, tools and apps that you are using. Be prepared to provide an equivalent alternative when needed. Contact ID&T for assistance.
Contact ID&T for assistance with any of the above.