Accessibility Checklist for Course Content

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Handouts

  1. Be sure to have all of your handouts available in electronic format and not scanned pages to a PDF.
    • Post the handouts within each section's Canvas "Files" area for ease of access.
      • PDF documents should be full-text and have text that can be selected (not scanned images only).
    • Use Microsoft Office's Accessibility Checker and address any issues it may find.
    • Canvas has an Accessibility Checker tool built-in to address issues easier than Microsoft Word.
    • Install and utilize the UDOIT content scanner within Canvas.
    • Handouts can be copied and pasted into a Canvas course page. Students won't need special software, only a web browser, and an Internet connection.
  2. Be sure to use Bold or italic text to provide emphasis instead of: underlining, All Caps, and the use of color alone.
    • Do not use rapid blinking or moving text; make sure transitions are slow.
  3. Use black text on a white background, or other high contrast combinations, using a consistent sans-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica, Open Sans, Tahoma, and Verdana with 12 point size as a minimum.
    • Proper text contrast and font selection provide easy reading when printed in grayscale (student printing costs $0.10 per black and white page. Save students money for printing).
  4. Use headings and subheadings within your documents. Begin with "Header 1" and then logically increase heading number the more specific the content.
    • Headers within Microsoft Word allow easier document navigation, the ability to collapse sections, can create an automatic table of contents, and it provides an outline of the document to help your students study.
  5. Arrange content within ordered (numerical) or unordered (bullet) lists to group content of two or more items.
    • Use ordered lists to describe a sequential or stepped process.
    • Use unordered lists to provide notes, emphasis, and focus attention on a group of items or concepts.
  6. Use Descriptive link text to describe the linked content rather than using generic language such as "click here", "read more", or "More info".
    • For example: "...visiting the FSW Libraries homepage students have access to electronic resources and the ability to find physical..."
  7. When inserting tables ensure the header row, column, or both are specified. They should have a caption and alt text provided.
  8. Images should have meaningful alternative (alt) text that describes what is within it, avoid using "image of" or "graphic of" at the beginning or end.
    • Examples of good alt text for an image of the Flag of Scotland would be:
      • "The Flag of Scotland"
      • "The Flag of Scotland has a white diagonal cross over a blue background."
    • Images placed in a document for decoration or have no direct relation to the content should be marked decorative.
  9. Graphs and charts should receive alt text of the graph title, the source data table, and view the final product in grayscale.

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Videos and Audio

  1. Be sure, at a minimum, the videos used in courses have closed captioning and have them turned on while being screened in the classroom.
    • Captions not only benefit the hearing impaired; they also help non-native English speakers, deciphering thick accents or whispers in a film, and help provide context.
  2. Check the captions within the videos posted on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting websites to ensure accuracy. If the closed captions are not very accurate, then try to copy the closed captions into a Microsoft Word document and provide an edited document of the captions as a Transcript for the video.
  3. Audio-only content should have a transcript provided.
    • It is best when self-producing video and audio content to write a script first (even include instructions to your self for what to click or point at if it is a screen cast), then record. The script can then be the transcript of your content.
    • Another option is to make use of the transcription service FSW licenses with, 3PlayMedia, for locally created content. To use this service, submit your audio or video file URL to the instructional design team at elearning@fsw.edu, and we will request a transcript and captions file from 3PlayMedia.

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Additional Resources

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