AccessAbility Services : Faculty and Staff Resources

Creating Accessible Course Material

How do I create accessible Word documents?

Accessible Word documents should include the following accessible features:

  • Headings: Headings and subheadings allow screen readers to understand how the page is organized and to quickly navigate to content of most interest. For additional information, visit Getting Started with Headings.
  • Alternative text for images: Alternative text describes the content of the image for screen readers. For additional information, visit Getting Started with Alt Text.
  • Self-describing links: When using hyperlinks in a document, add text that describes to the user what they will see when they click on the link. For additional information, visit W3C Tips for Webmasters.
  • Properly formatted lists: Lists should be created using the list controls that are provided in the document authoring software. For additional information, visit Getting Started with Lists.
  • Properly formatted tables: Tables allow you to communicate relationships between data. Tables should not be used to control layout, to control layout use organizing tools such as columns. If the data can be presented in bulleted or numbered lists it is recommended to use a list format instead of a table.
  • Colors: Be careful in conveying information solely through color as people, who are color-blind, have low vision, or other print disabilities may have difficulty perceiving such information. Instead use text, shapes, and patterns, in addition to certain colors to convey information.  For additional information, visit the Use of Color.

Microsoft Office offers a course on creating accessible Word documents. The course is a video presentation and teaches how to create accessible word documents.

Further Information:

 

How do I create accessible PDF documents?

The easiest way to create an accessible PDF is to create a fully accessible Word document and “Save As” a PDF. The “Save As” function will carry over the accessibility features of your document. (Please note: it is not yet possible to export to accessible PDF in Word 2011 from a Mac. Please look at some tips for creating an accessible PDF from a Mac from Portland Community College.)

Adobe offers quick videos on creating accessible PDF documents.

Further Information:

 

How do I create accessible PowerPoints?

Accessible PowerPoints should include the following accessible features:

Helpful Tips:

  • PowerPoint has a built-in Accessibility Checker. To use the Accessibility Checker, click; File, Info, Check for Issues, Check for Accessibility.
  • Controls for videos embedded in PowerPoint are inaccessible; consider adding a self-describing link to the video in YouTube/Vimeo.
  • Tables included in PowerPoint are challenging to navigate. Consider providing information in Excel, or in a list.

Further Information:

 

How do I create accessible Excel workbooks?

Microsoft Office offers a guide to support you in creating accessible Excel workbooks. Excel also has a built in Accessibility Checker starting in Microsoft Office 2010. You can check your Excel worksheets for issues that might make it challenging by going to; File, Info, Check for Issues, Check for Accessibility.Further Information: Accessible Digital Office Documents: Microsoft Excel 2010

 

How do I obtain captioning for videos I plan to use in my course?

Captioning services are available through AAS for a course in which you have a student who is deaf or hearing impaired. To request a video be captioned, please contact AAS at aas@wcsu.edu. Please make sure to provide appropriate notification to AAS as captioning typically takes 5 business days to obtain. For live events that may need captioning, please contact Media Services at: request_media_services@wcsu.edu.

 

How do I extend online quiz and exam timing in Blackboard?

Meeting accommodation needs through Blackboard can be done through the built-in features in the Test Availability Exceptions of Blackboard. Please review the “Tests with Extended Time” tutorial (see video below), created by the Online and Distance Education Committee for step-by-step instructions.

 

How do I provide a student with an additional attempt at an assignment in Blackboard?

Meeting accommodation needs or other student emergency needs through Blackboard can be done in the built-in features in the Test Availability Exceptions of Blackboard. Please review the “Additional Attempt” tutorial (see video below), created by the Online and Distance Education Committee for step-by-step instructions.

 

If I need additional help in Blackboard, who can I contact?

Additional support for Blackboard can be found on the WCSU E-Learning website. Depending on what type of training method you prefer, Blackboard training can be conducted either in person, via online, or by self-paced tutorials and videos. Helpful resources include Blackboard Learn support from ConnSCU or support from Blackboard Learn Videos.

If you would like to meet in person, please contact Aura Lippincott at lippincotta@wcsu.edu with some days and times that you are available. You may also contact Instructional Technologists, Cheryl McCann at mccannc@ct.edu or Tobi Krutt at tkrutt@commnet.edu from the Board of Regents to arrange for training, or to be enrolled in a Blackboard Faculty Orientation course – which is an unmonitored, self-paced online resource course for instructors.

You are also welcome to attend training at any of the other schools that you may live closer to listed on the following training calendar: https://calendar.ct.edu/.