Guidelines for Web Accessibility

Use clear consistent language, format, and contrast

Instructions are clear and definitions are provided for unusual words, acronyms, and abbreviations.

Documents used have simple consistent formats. Example, in Blackboard be consistent and explain the names of headings and sections you use.

Use default menu names provided by Blackboard.

Documents used contain enough contrast between front and background colors. (Example: Black text on white background).

Avoid blinking, flashing, or sparkling animated images.

Use text material that is actually text.  

Images of text are avoided OR an alternative is provided.  (Examples of images of test are: untagged PDF’s, scanned images, or word art.  You can’t highlight a word on a scanned document.)

Text descriptions are provided for any relevant image, graph, or chart used in a course or within any document or presentation.

If the shape, color, or styling of any text object conveys information, that information is conveyed in plain text.  A strong tag or emphasis tag (bold or italics) can help differentiate important information, but can’t be the only means used to do so.  These tags should be used along with other identifying information.  Example: If you have a list of people and you denote the most important in the list only by bolding the name you would not be complying with this standard.  You must also use another identifier to clarify why this person is the most important on the list, i.e. along with bolding the name you should also state that the person is most important because he won the race, voted as president, etc.

All charts, graphs, pictures that convey and contain information or data must have alternate text or text description that conveys the same information. Shape, color, or styling can’t be the only way to convey information. Example: If the incorrect answer is colored red, you must add an identifier -‘This answer is incorrect’. 

Use Headers and styles. 

Headers are used by screen readers to jump to different sections of content. Use Headers/Styles by using Header 1 and Header 2 on the ribbon instead of making font larger and bolded.  These are given to you through the software programs.   Blackboard, CMS, and Microsoft products all have this feature built in. 

Use videos that are closed captioned or have a transcript available.  Video only content will have a transcript/description of the most important visual elements.

Audio-only content has a transcript available.  (Example: A PowerPoint with embedded audio has the transcript in the ‘notes’ section.)

All video-only content (with no voice track) has a text description of the important visual content from the video.

All audio-video content either contains open/closed captions (captions must be synchronized regardless) OR a full transcript is provided.