Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to designate content organization?
When creating web pages or other documents, use headings. Users often scroll down pages looking for big or bold text. Certain assistive technologies read and navigate pages according to heading structures. This is not possible when text is simply denoted as "Large" and/or "Bold".
Do I have to use bulleted or numbered lists to denote list structure?
Lists are used to indicate a definite structure within content. Unordered (bulleted) lists are used when there is no sequence or order to the information. Ordered (numbered) lists indicate a sequence. Assistive technologies cannot read hyphens as list indicators.
How should I write descriptive links? Why can’t I just give the URL?
Links are most useful when they are conveying meaning and context. URLs are often long. While assistive technologies can read URLs, a brief description is best. Avoid using these phrases and words for links -
- click here
- link to
Click here for more information about KSU Sports
What should I know about fonts?
Generally, you should use real text rather than text within an image. True text (whether HTML or typeface within Microsoft Word documents, etc...) can easily be enlarged without losing quality. Text within an image can become pixelated and difficult to read. Choose simple, easily readable fonts, and limit the number of different fonts on a page.
Usability tests indicate that sans-serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana) are preferred over serif fonts (Times New Roman, Georgia, Book Antiqua) for digital media.
Can I use color alone to denote differences, emphasis, and content meaning?
Color should NEVER be the sole method of conveying information. If this is the case, change the image or text so that information is not conveyed through color or provide an another way for users to get the same information.
How do I know if there is enough color contrast between my background and my text?
Use WebAim's Color Contrast Checker. This is a great tool to help you make decisions about colors.
What is the best way to format a table that can be read by a screen reader?
In general, try not to use tables for layout purposes.
For data tables, provide a table caption and always identify row and column headers. Remember, simple is best. For more complex data tables, remember to layout information left to right and make sure the cells still correspond to the correct row and column header.
What is the preferred document format for maximum screen-reader compatibility?HTML is always best for interacting with assistive technologies (like screen-readers). For creating course documents, consider using HTML first. If students need to interact with a document and modify it, Microsoft Word is a good option. PDFs are also screen-readable if they are created properly and saved as tagged PDFs. Mac users may have difficulty creating tagged PDFs.
How do I provide text for images, graphs, & charts?
D2L BrightSpace, SoftChalk, and Microsoft products give users the ability to add alternative text to images without hand-coding. Alternative text should be brief but appropriate and equivalent. It should convey the content and function of the image, graph, and/or chart. Many times, the text near or surrounding an image provides context, so the alternative text can be very brief. Additionally, assistive techonologies let users know that an image is indeed an image. Therefore, there is no need to identify it as such in the alternative text.
Barack Obama is the first African-American President of the United States. He was elected to a first term in 2008 and a second term in 2012.
Do this -
Alternative Text - "Barack Obama"
Not this -
Alternative Text - "Image of President Barack Obama"
What are long descriptions and when do I need to use them?
Complex images often require complex descriptions. Equivalent alternatives for charts, maps, and graphs take the form of a long description. Because HTML5 (and many of our content creation software) doesn't support long descriptions, creating a separate page with the description is best.
How do I get my videos captioned?Faculty have several resources when it comes to creating captions for multimedia or transcripts for podcasts. They can use the DocSoft process at the DLC. Soon, the DLC's MediaSpace integration project will be up and running and faculty will be able to request captioning through our Kaltura MediaSpace environment. Finally, faculty are welcome to use YouTube to caption and edit their own videos. YouTube's Help Center has a great resource section detailing this process.
How do I get transcripts for my podcasts?DocSoft will also create transcripts for podcast audio recordings. The process for uploading these files is the same as for videos. Use the DocSoft Faculty Instructions.
If I have my videos or other multimedia captioned, do I also need to provide transcripts?No. Closed captioning is the standard. However, the Universal Design for Learning framework suggests that providing students with information in a variety of formats may aid their learning. Consider also providing the transcript in order to help as many students as possible.
What is a software accessibility statement?
Most software producers, especially those who create educational software, publish accessibility statements. These statements describe steps taken by the company to ensure the software meets certain accessibility statements. Companies usually publish these statements on their websites.
What is a VPAT?
"A VPAT is a vendor-generated statement (using the required template) that provides relevant
information on how a vendor’s product or service claims to conform to the Section 508
Standards." From - VPAT Policy & Information
Faculty and instructional designers should learn to read over VPATs, evaluate them, and then test VPAT statements independently. Reading a VPAT is the first step a faculty member / staff member should take when he / she is evaluating a tool for academic adoption. BuyAccessible.gov's Vendor Accessibility Resource Center keeps an updated list of published VPATs on their website for evaluation purposes.
What is Universal Design for Learning and how employing this framework can aid accessibility efforts?
"Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Watch the video below to get an overview of UDL."
Where can I find information on the KSU accessibility policy and applicable laws?The Distance Learning Center's Accessibility Website gives information on KSU's policy, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Sections 504 & 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.