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With Accessibility in Mind

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Designing your course to be accessible.

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With Accessibility in Mind

  1. 1. With Accessibility in Mind The Faculty Center Ally Kimmel akimmel@pace.edu | 212-346-1471
  2. 2. Agenda • What is Accessibility? • Types of Disabilities • Color Blindness • Design with Accessibility in Mind • Making Accessible Documents • Designing an Accessible Blackboard Course
  3. 3. What is Accessibility?Definitions provided by W3C/WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) • Accessibility - the extent to which content in a course is available to all students, meeting the needs of a diverse audience – help all students succeed • Usability - ability of learners to easily navigate and interact with course components • Readability - the ease with which a reader can understand a written text • Accommodations - reactive approach of providing alternatives to students once a disability has been identified through the disability office - help one student succeed • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) - a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all students equal opportunities to learn
  4. 4. Types of Disabilities • Audio  Videos/podcasts without correct transcripts or captions - voice needs captioning  Media players without volume controls • Visual  Text, images, and page layouts that cannot be resized  Long passages of text  Moving or blinking content  Insufficient contrast between colors • Physical  Websites that do not provide full keyboard support  Insufficient time limits to complete tasks • Speech  Assignments or tasks that only require voice activation/recognition • Cognitive and Neurological  Complex navigation and page layouts that are difficult to understand and use  Complex sentences
  5. 5. What Do You See? Color Blindness Test
  6. 6. How to Design With Accessibility in Mind Many faculty fear that creating an accessible course is going to be overwhelming. There are many best practices that do not take extra time: • Roman numerals are not accessible to screen readers • Consistent navigation • Ability to change font size • Visual information that includes descriptions (alternative text, captions, text transcripts) • Avoid justifying margins because this creates inconsistent spacing between letters/words • Color, Contrast and Document Structure • Provide headers for data tables • Descriptive hyperlinks (links like “click here” should be avoided) • PDF, PPT, and Word accessible files • Alt text, put the text in both the title and the description boxes • Blue and/or underlined text signify links, do not use this if it’s not links Video: difference between Accessibility and Accommodation
  7. 7. Fonts Select basic, simple, easily-readable fonts, sans-serif. • Arial • Avenir • Calibri • Century Gothic • Helvetica • Lucida Sans • Optima • Tahoma • Verdana Use a limited number of fonts. Avoid small font sizes. Limit the use of font variations such as bold, italics, and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Don't rely only on the appearance of the font (color, shape, font variation, placement, etc.) to convey meaning. • Font Readability • Color Contrast Checker • From Pace, accessibility checklist • How Five Web Design Principles Boost Student Learning in an Online Course
  8. 8. Before
  9. 9. Add Alt Text to Image
  10. 10. Using Headers
  11. 11. Using Descriptive Text for URLs
  12. 12. Header Row in Tables
  13. 13. Add Alt Text to Tables
  14. 14. Accessibility Checker
  15. 15. After Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibility Checker PDF Accessibility Checker
  16. 16. Designing an Accessible Blackboard Course
  17. 17. The Text Editor in Blackboard
  18. 18. Steps You Can Take to Make Your Course Accessible 1. Develop a clear, consistent, and simple layout. 2. Inform students at the beginning of the course how it is structured, where to find materials. 3. Clearly indicate the hierarchy of materials in a page or document using heading styles. 4. Add closed captions to all videos, and provide transcript for sound clips and a text alternative to charts and graphs. 5. Add alternative text to all images. Images used for decoration should have a "null" ALT tag (alt=""). 6. Provide descriptive links. 7. Use tables for data, not formatting. 8. Provide color contrast between the text and background and don’t rely on color alone to convey meaning. 9. Use white space to increase comprehension and reduce eye fatigue. 10. Proofread all your course materials to ensure you do not have spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.

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