Resolutions and the Law
See Distance Education: Accessibility Guidelines for Students with Disabilities from the Chancellor’s Office California Community Colleges.
- By law, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act , learning materials, including interfaces, images, sounds, multimedia elements, and all other forms of information, must be made available for use by anyone, regardless of disability.
- Detailed information about accessibility guidelines are available at Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Still not convinced of the need to address accessibility? Watch this 11 minute video - To Care and Comply: Disability Access produced by Portland Community College.
Real Connections: Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone (12 minute video)
Groups Issue Guidance on Making Digital Learning Accessible to All - Tips and guidance, brief case studies, and dozens of links to resources to help explain why accessibility is important, what the legal requirements are, and how it aids in learning.
Learn the basics about Web Accessibility
Introduction to Web Accessibility - Great WebAIM article that describes various disabilities and how they affect the ability to navigate online content and what can be done to improve the experience.
BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit - Great eBook that shows you how to make your course accessible and why you should.
Constructing a POUR Website - Putting people at the center of the process
✔ Accessibility checklist for online course content
- Provide alternative text descriptions (ALT text) or captions for meaningful images, charts, and graphics
- Appropriate Use of Alt Text by WebAIM
- When using complex images such as info-graphics, in addition to a succinct alt tag, make sure to provide the following disclaimer as a caption or close to the image:
If you are unable to view this complex content, contact the DRC at (650) 949-7017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to learn more about:
- How to describe complex images and math images
- Find tools for creating accessible math, and more
- Properly format heading levels (using Styles) to structure the webpage or document
- Headers are short descriptions, 3 to 5 words, of the content that follows
- Screen readers create links to the headers which allows a person using the screen reader to navigate to the contents without having to listen to all of the preceding contents being read back to them.
- Learn more about heading levels
- Format listed items as lists (bullets or numbers). Do not type them in.
- Write meaningful text for links (do not use "click here" links or urls for text, instead, describe where the link is pointing)
- Tables are used to display data and are not used for layout. Tables must have headers and a proper reading order.
- Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning. Use text with color. If text color denotes meaning, make it bold or italicize it.
- Use PDFs that are tagged. Learn more about how to make a PDF accessible at WebAIM.
- Ensure that all audio and video content includes appropriate captioning
- Only use audio with available transcripts
- Only use video with accurate closed captioning that is synchronized (YouTube auto captioning is usually not accurate enough to meet accessibility requirements)
- Learn more about captioning
- Only link to external websites that are accessible (or provide an alternative)
- Do not use broken links and do not underline text for emphasis which can be confused for a broken link
- Whenever a software plug-in is necessary for use of content, provide a link to download that software plug-in (e.g., PDF reader, Quicktime, Flash Player)All required instructional video for online and hybrid courses MUST be captioned and audio must be transcribed.
- Captioning and Transcribing (Videos and Audio) - Learn more about how to caption videos, where to find captioned videos, and what to do to get a video captioned that you don't own.
Using publisher material?
Find out what to ask publishers - BEFORE you adopt their textbooks or require your students to use their websites. Find out the list of questions to ask publishers.
Learn how to make your Canvas course accessible with tips and tricks from the Canvas community.
Accommodating Students in Canvas - Discussion on how to set up accommodations for assignments, quizzes, and modules
The Rich Content Editor (RCE) in Canvas supports multiple accessibility features for easy content creation:
Learn how to use the Rich Content Editor to make your Canvas pages completely accessible
- Alt text must be added to embedded external images - Embed images from the web in the Rich Content Editor
- Headings for table columns and rows can be changed in either the Rich Content Editor or the HTML Editor view - Edit content in the RCE's HTML editor
Learn more about Accessibility in Canvas
Creating Accessible Online Courses with Canvas - Self-guided Canvas course designed to provide you with the basic information you need in order to create accessible online courses with Canvas.
Make sure your documents are accessible! If you are creating a PDF from a Word document, it is best to first make the Word document accessible and then save it as a PDF. If you do not have the source document of the PDF, then you will have to use Adobe Acrobat Pro X11 to make it accessible. Below you will find tutorials and guides on how to make your documents accessible.
ED Accessibility Requirements for Electronic Documents - Key concepts, step-by-step instructions for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat PDF (all are .doc from U.S. Department of Education)
If you use a Mac and have the latest version of Word 2016, you will be able to use the built-in Accessibility Checker and when you save it as a PDF, the tagging information will be preserved.
Create Accessible Word Documents - WebAIM article
How to make a Word document accessible - (Portland Community College)
Microsoft Powerpoint Techniques - WebAIM article
Microsoft Powerpoint Techniques (Portland Community College)
Find and fix accessibility issue in Excel 2010 - Microsoft Video (2:42 minutes)
PDF Accessibility (WebAIM)
Creating Accessible PDF Documents with MS Word and Acrobat Pro (@One video 57:56 mins in conjuction with the OEI)
PC: Convert Microsoft Documents to PDF
To create a tagged PDF make sure to use 'Save As'. Using 'Print to PDF' will strip out the tags and it will no longer be accessible.The screenshot shows accessibility results from Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker:
- Document on right saved using 'Save as PDF' - no errors due to missing tags
- Document on left saved using 'Print to PDF' - errors due to missing tags
Mac: Convert Microsoft Documents to PDF
Word 2016To preserve tagging information when saving your document as a PDF, make sure to select the option that is best for electronic distribution and accessbility.
Word 2011 and prior versionsMac version of MS Word 2011 and prior versions do NOT produce tagged PDFs required for accessibility. You can use SensusAccess to convert your Word document to a tagged PDF by following these steps:
- Go to SensusAccess
- Select File
- Press the Browse button to find your document
- Press the Upload button on the right of the Browse button to upload your document
- Select Accessibility conversion
- From the Targeted format drop-down menu, select pdf - Tagged PDF
- Type in your email address
- Press Submit
- Check your inbox for the email from SensusAccess to get your pdf document (turn-around time ranges from a minute to longer depending on document size)
- WebAIM Quick Reference: Testing Web Content for Accessibility
- Use WAVE to verify that your webpage is accessible - Submit a URL for Accessibility Verification and get a detailed report
- Get the WAVE Chrome extension - Install the Wave icon on your toolbar and with the click of a button, you can check accessibily of your webpage. You can also use the interactive contrast checker to verify foregraound and background colors provide enough contrast.
- How to use Achecker to check accessibility of content in Etudes Modules
- Use Achecker to verify that your webpage is accessible - Submit a URL to test accessibility and conformity to various international accessibility standards
- Video of Instructions for Using Achecker to evaluate a website for accessibility (8.52 minutes)
WebAIM Contrast Checker
- WebAIM Contrast Checker - Interactive checker lets you verify foreground and background colors provide enough contrast
Evaluating Document Accessibility
Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office
- Accessibility Checker for Windows
- Accessibility Checker Word 2016 for Mac (only available in version 2016)
Free PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 2) - The freeware program PAC provides a fast way to test the accessibility of PDF files.
Document Checker - Check older versions of Word, PowerPoint, Open Office, Adobe, and more
Introduction to Screen Readers - Victor Tsaran from Yahoo shows the core functionality of screen readers and how they interact with the desktop. (27 min)
WebAIM Screen Reader Simulation - Experience what it is like to use a screen reader
The Secrets of Screen Readers Revealed with Sean Keegan (1 hour webinar)
My Web My Way - Tips for students about how to make the web easier to use
Learn how to make your online course and learning materials available to ALL students regardless of learning style or disability and then get assistance from the Foothill Online Learning staff.
Course AccessibilityFill out the Accessibility Checklist
Option 1: Request captioning through the DRC
State-funded grants are available to get professional captioning and transcription for video or audio content that you have created for your online and/or hybrid courses. In order to apply for funding please send the following to Mayra Aguilera (email@example.com) at the Disability Resource Center:
- Your name and contact info
- Course Number, Section and Title of course that will contain the video or audio (must be fully online or hybrid course)
- Quarter that you will use the video or audio
- Total number of minutes of the video or audio
- Type of media: video or audio
The DRC will send the captioned file to you. If you have a YouTube channel and own the video, you can upload the captions in YouTube. If you do not own the video, you can use Amara. Visit the Captioning page and click the 'How' tab to learn how to add captions to videos.
Option 2: Request captioning of your own videos using 3C Media Solutions
Make sure you have uploaded your videos to 3C Media Solutions before makeing a request to have them captioned.
You can get grant-funded captioning services from 3CMedia Solutions with LESS paperwork! This service is only available for instructional use and videos that have been uploaded to a 3C Media account. This service is paid for through the DECT grant, and is only available as long as the funding lasts.
Note: This request is NOT available for:
- Videos that are hosted on YouTube and placed in your 3CMedia account
- Non-instructional video (e.g., entertainment)
- Any videos hosted anywhere outside 3C Media Solutions
Set up your Account
- Set up your free 3C Media account (select "Foothill College" for the Organization)
- Upload your video to your account
- Request captioning by filling out the form located under "Details & Options" area of your video
The captions will be automatically added to your video which normally takes 3-5 business days. The video with captions will then be playable on the 3C Media Solutions website.
Read the 3C Media Solution FAQs to learn more.