Aim for Accessibility
Creating accessible documents and learning materials doesn’t require high tech skills or specialized programs. In fact, many of the techniques we recommend make it easier to style and design course materials.
By following these simple suggestions, we can make our course materials easier to use and understand for all students. These suggestions are based on the internationally accepted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines AA standards (WCAG 2.1) published by the W3C World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Accessible document considerations can be broken down into eight segments:
Where do I start?
Like our dartboard, the goal is to bring these segments together for full accessibility. But, like darts, we start by getting on the board – and every point helps. There are many different approaches to accessibility – we can work on one segment or one document at at time – each effort bringing us closer to the bullseye.
One easy place to start is Headings – this will help set up the structure of your documents so that they are understandable to screen readers. What’s more, you can easily add headings to your documents using the tools built into Word, PowerPoint and Google Docs.
Next ensure that any pictures or graphics have alternative text (see alt-text under Graphics)
Other easy steps include:
- Ensuring your Color choices are usable by all students,
- Using the built in tools to create Lists, and
- Ensuring that your Links have descriptive names.
If you use Tables in your courses, be sure to add table and cell headings so that they will be understandable to to students using screen readers. Remember: do not use tables for layout or non-table data.
Ally Accessibility Tool
There is even a tool in eLearn that can help you evaluate your documents for accessibility. Learn more about the Ally Accessibility Tool.
And remember, no one has to do it alone…
We are here to help!
The Center for Academic Innovation has resources, workshops and staff to help and support Chemeketa’s accessible design efforts.
Visit us on the Salem campus building 9/106 or call 503.399.7832 to learn more
Ready Aim Access!