Accessibility Quick Guide Accessibility Resources to cover essentials in accessibility

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How to Use This Resource

The following resource provides information for common accessibility issues and does not encompass all aspects of developing accessible digital content. Along with using the 5 Key Guidelines below, search for sections of text that apply to your needs. If you have questions about the accessibility of your course or content, please email the Digital Accessibility Team at DigitalAccessibility@utsa.edu.

Table of Contents

5 Key Accessibility Guidelines

  • Include a Student Disability Services statement within your course.
  • All content intuitively reads left to right, top to bottom.
  • Do not rely on color, font, or other sensory characteristics to convey meaning.
  • Chunk large bodies of text and include meaningful headings.
  • Use consistent wording, use a sans serif font that is at least size 9, and clarify uncommon acronyms.

I am using Microsoft Office to create content...

I have content...can I scan it?

Whenever possible, avoid scanning content to share with learners. Try the following:

I need content ASAP!

Use the resources the library provides:

What about websites?

Learners need to be able to tab through the page and see an outline (called a focus indicator). Then run the WAVE website checker. Almost every website reports errors - don't panic! Go to the details of the WAVE report. You will see a list of errors and alerts to review. You can also review information in the reference section about why the alerts and errors are issues.

  • Review the images on the webpage that you need learners to review and determine if images have alternative text.
  • See if there are headings for large blocks of the text.
  • If text and background are not black and white, check color contrast.

Once you have ensured these elements will not present roadblocks for learners, feel free to move on.

Note: Under normal circumstances, websites require a more extensive review. As we are trying to procure content quickly, complete a basic check until you have time to do a thorough review. Review the WAVE help resource for more details on this tool.

What about sharing URLs?

  • URLs hyperlink to meaningful and descriptive text
  • If a URL is present, it is unlinked and within brackets [ ]
  • The phrase "click here" is not present in the descriptive text for hyperlinks
  • A note is present explaining hyperlink behavior to learners - Refer to the Boilerplate Wording for Digital Accessibility for Digital Learning's general statement used in Blackboard.

WebAIM's Link and Text Appearance can provide some additional information about creating informative hyperlinks.

I have images...

Both resources will provide you with information on how to write alternative text. The DIAGRAM Center offers more extensive information and practice on simple and complex images.

I have tables...

Quick Rules:

  • Is a table your only option? Tables are difficult for assistive technology to navigate. Only use tables when essential!
  • Always have a table title and an overview caption for learners
  • Avoid blank or merged cells
  • Avoid using tables as a way to layout content...tables are for data or information
  • Always have a header row
  • Use the WebAIM Creating Accessible Tables resource for additional guidelines
A computer displaying video editing software

I have videos...

All videos must have captions that are:

  • synchronized and appear at approximately the same time as the audio is delivered,
  • equivalent and equal in content to that of the audio, including speaker identification and sound effects; and
  • accessible and readily available to those who need or want them.
  • Academic Innovation has a Caption Support Program to allow faculty to request assistance with the caption editing process for instructor-created course videos.

Source: Criteria from The Described and Captioned Media Program

Use the DCMP Captioning Tip sheet to learn additional information.

Other essential video elements

  • Provide learners with access to any text transcripts, accessible slides, accessible PDFs, and other accessible visual aids.
  • If a video includes essential information on the screen to understand the topic, the learner can hear audio descriptions within the video, or an alternative video with embedded audio descriptions is available

Use the DCMP Description Tip sheet to learn additional information. WebAIM also provides information on captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions.

What about videos made by other people?

If you are using videos that you have not created, please watch the video with captions to ensure they meet the guidelines in this section. Auto-generated captions do not typically meet guidelines. You also need to provide audio descriptions when necessary.

I need to meet learner accommodations

If you have not done so, reach out to Student Disability Services for insight on how to meet accommodations.

If you need steps on providing learners with additional accommodations for digital content, please review our Digital Accommodation Resources and Digital Accessibility Software Resources.

I still have questions!

Please use our Digital Learning Accessibility page for more resources or contact us at DigitalAccessibility@utsa.edu.


Created with images by Steve Johnson - "abstract painting" • Ashkan Forouzani - "Microsoft Surface Pro with Keyboard" • Guilherme Vasconcelos - "Unsplash Inception" • Wahid Khene - "adobe colors edit" • Kaitlyn Baker - "untitled image"