Sharing What I Find

Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Notes from QM Accessibility: 8 Tips for Addressing Accessibility

Students with disabilities as of 2012

What can we do to get on the right path to address accessibility? Presenter’s Accessibility Tips Handout (PDF)

Structure and readability (SRS 8.1 and 8.4)

  • consistent and logical layout
  • navigation
  • structure of documents (flow)
  • chunked with headings (appropriately labeled) and whitespace
  • spacing between lines – use space before/after to adjust spacing instead of paragraph returns
  • use a TOC if documents are long (5 or 8 pages)

Watch this video to get a feel for screen readers

Tables  (SRS 8.1 and 8.4)

  • designate columns and row headers
  • add alt text
  • do not merge or split table cells

Fonts (SRS 8.1 and 8.4)

  • use a sans serif for online reading, especially for long blocks of text
  • color contrast
  • web resources: color contrast checker:   find webcolors
  • colorblind (1:12 men and 1:200 women are color deficient) (National Eye Institute)
  • don’t use color as sole meaning
  • don’t underline for empahsis
  • use descriptive links instead of entire URLs
  • include document types notation beside link (PDF, 750 KB or video 1:09 mins)

Images (SRS 8.3)

  • concise but descriptive

  • personal focus, emotion
  • Word: ALT text goes in description field, not title)
  • complex diagrams and charts – add detail description through alternative means

Scanned documents (SRS 8.4)

  • scan as text not as an image
  • adobe reader – use read out loud feature to test

Accessibility checkers (SRS 8.1, 8.3, 8.4)

  • check issues feature within Word
  • Adobe Reader  use read-out loud feature
  • – to test web pages

Accessibility statements (SRS 8.2)

  • VPAT – Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (search for this with your product)

Multimedia (SRS 8.3)

  • accurate transcripts & captions
    • errors are bad

Search for closed captions in YouTube by adding “, cc” behind search string

Tips & Resources

Universal Design — Best Practices for Online Learning

National Center of Universal Design for Learning


Increasing Litigation

Webinar recording

Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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