Creating accessible instructional materials can help increase the usability of your course and meet the needs of diverse learners. Meeting accessibility standards such as heading structure, alternative image text, and color contrast can greatly improve the experience that students have with course documents. Additionally, providing alternative means of access to instructional recordings, such as closed-captioned videos, transcripts, and PDFs, can facilitate ease of use.
You can also create a more usable experience by making instructional materials easy to find. By using a consistent organization for course pages and files, you will make the course easier to navigate for students with learning disabilities and reduce the cognitive load of all of your students. Providing descriptive link text for external readings, videos, or websites, will enable students to navigate the course successfully with a screen reader. Writing the title of an article, for instance, will help students with a screen reader scan a page more efficiently than nondescript text like “click here.”
Continue exploring the page or request assistance from the Center for Instructional Technology and Training.
When creating accessible documents and recordings, follow these best practices.
- Make sure that PDFs have selectable text. If you cannot select the text with your cursor, then review how to create and fix PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.
- Utilize simple fonts and appropriate color contrast to facilitate readability and legibility. Readability refers to being able to distinguish words, while legibility refers to distinguishing individual letters. Refer to WebAIM’s recommendations on font readability and legibility for more information.
- Include headings, subheadings, and alternative image text in Word and PDF documents.
- Add closed captioning to all recordings. If you are teaching an online course at UF, submit a Captioning Request Form to have your videos captioned.
- Include a copy of the presentation and transcript with all recorded material.
- Provide a title and time stamp for each recording linked in a course.
- Ally: A tool used in the learning management system that offers suggestions on how to improve the accessibility of the selected item.
- Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Office
- Creating Accessible Documents in PowerPoint
- Creating and Fixing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat
- SensusAccess: A document conversion system that converts documents into accessible formats.
- UDOIT: The UDOIT tool scans a course and generates a report that addresses common accessibility issues.
- WebAIM Color Contrast Checker: Reviews foreground and background color contrast for WCAG AA and WCAG AAA standards.