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Accessibility Best Practices for Online Learning Content

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Webinar for TRAILS, the Montana Academic Library Consortium on how to create accessible online learning content for libraries.

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Accessibility Best Practices for Online Learning Content

  1. 1. Accessibility Tips: How to create accessible learning content TRAILS Webinar September 2020
  2. 2. Jacqueline L. Frank Instruction & Accessibility Librarian Your Presenter
  3. 3. Objectives • Learn & share knowledge on accessibility best practices for creating learning content • Understand how digital accessibility affects the ways users interact with libraries • Provide opportunity to converse, share tips, advice, and information on how to get started creating accessible materials quickly.
  4. 4. Outline • Why Accessibility Matters • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) • Accessibility Best Practices • Examples of how to use them in Word • Accessibility checker for Word & Adobe Pro • Tools & Resources • Accessibility checkers • Instructions by document type • Montana Talking Book Library
  5. 5. Why Accessibility Matters How digital accessibility affects the way users interact libraries.Poll question!
  6. 6. 19% Undergraduates with a disability (NCES) 100% Will experience a disability in life. (Access Lab) 26% People with a disability (CDC) Why Accessibility Matters
  7. 7. Why Accessibility Matters, cont. (Microsoft Inclusive Design Toolkit) (Access Lab)
  8. 8. Access as Student Success • Student success hinges on access • Without access, students will not fully succeed. • As instructors, we strive to support student success, not hinder it.
  9. 9. Accessibility for All: Everyone Benefits • Automatic door openers • Closed Captioning • Noisy environments • ESL learners • Help follow along in lecture • Multiple Instruction Formats • Watch, Listen, or Read transcript for a recorded lectures or video • I like to listen to webinars while taking my dog for a walk.
  10. 10. Universal Design for Learning (UDL)Group Discussion: Who can offer a brief description of UDL, and how you think it differs or relate to accessibility?
  11. 11. Accessibility Vs. UDL • What’s the Difference? • Accessibility has historically been about offering a [hopefully equal] alternative • UDL is about designing the experience to eliminate any barriers so an alternative is not needed
  12. 12. Accessibility Vs. UDL: Shared Goal • Design content in a way that users can access it easily, in the way they need to
  13. 13. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) • “A framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people.” –CAST • Eliminates barriers from beginning • Recognizes various learning styles • Offers options for students that fit their learning styles and preferences, including using assistive technologies (CAST UDL Framework)
  14. 14. Accessibility & UDL Best Practices & Tips! Poll question!
  15. 15. Accessibility & UDL Best Practices, cont. Accessibility: WCAG 2.0 • Alt-text for images • Descriptive, underlined links • Heading styles • High color contrast • Captions and Transcripts • Clear, concise, language • Avoid or explain jargon • Spell out acronyms • Avoid abbreviations • Compatibility with assistive technologies UDL Guidelines (CAST) Engagement* • Involve learners in goal setting Representation* • Offer alternatives for audio/visual: captions & transcripts • Promote understanding across languages: avoid jargon, acronyms, & abbreviations Action & Expression* • Optimize access to assistive technologies: Keyboard use, Headers, etc. *not a complete list; for a full list, see (WCAG 2.0 Checklist by WebAim) or (CAST UDL Framework) Group Discussion & Poll question!
  16. 16. Alternative Text (Alt-Text) • Written description of an image • Read by screen readers in place of images • Displayed if an image file doesn’t load properly • Displayed when the user has chosen not to view images
  17. 17. Descriptive Hyperlink Text • Tell the user where the link is going to take them • Avoid pasting the full URL • Avoid using click here as a link • Let the link be the title of the content itself
  18. 18. Descriptive Hyperlink Text • Formatting tool • Used to separate sections of a document • Help all users and screen readers navigate content • Apply in outline format
  19. 19. Captions • Benefit people with hearing impairments or without access to audio. • English as a second language • Noisy, or quiet environments • Generate automatic captions for videos using TechSmith • Live captions in Powerpoint 365!
  20. 20. Transcripts • Benefit people with vision impairments without access to video • Separate written document of the audio • Do not have to be verbatim accounts of the spoken word in a video • Can be written before hand • Searchable
  21. 21. Print Best Practices • Use non-serif fonts (e.g. Helvetica, Veranda, Arial). • Contrast font color with background color (e.g. black text, white background). • Use 1.5–2.0 line spacing. • Optimize white space. • Do not place text over images. • Posters • Font Size: Title: 72 point, Section Title: 46–56 point, Block Text: 24–36 point • Ensure adequate resolution of graphics (visible from 6 feet when printed). • Provide online copy. (,, Gilson & Kitchin, 2007)
  22. 22. Word Accessibility Checker • Check your Word documents for accessibility using the built-in Word accessibility checker.
  23. 23. Adobe Pro Accessibility Checker • Check your PDFs for accessibility using the built-in Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker.
  24. 24. Tips • Think about accessibility from the start –it’s much easier than trying to go back and make something accessible later on • Use the accessibility checkers in Word & Adobe Pro • Create templates for yourself • When recording video, speak loud & clear which will help with generating captions • Write transcript before a webinar, video, etc. • Others? Group Discussion
  25. 25. Tools & Resources
  26. 26. Content Accessibility & Instruction Online Guide • Accessibility Best Practices & Resources • Instructions & Tutorials for creating accessible documents • Accessibility Checkers, including color contrast MT Talking Book Library • Residents unable to use standard print materials due to visual, physical, and/or reading disabilities can request • Braille or high quality audio books and magazines recorded by trained narrators Funkify • Disability simulator for the web Closing Poll question!
  27. 27. UDL Slides Check  Minimum 24 sans serif font  Use of bullets/numbers for lists  Correct reading order  Sufficient color contrast  Plain language  Alt-text for images  Descriptive links
  28. 28. Final Poll Review & Questions?