Frequently Asked Questions


  • 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".

  • 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.

    Do this:

    • baseball
    • basketball
    • football

    Not this:

    - baseball

    - basketball

    - football

  • 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
    • here
    • more
    • link to 

    Do this:

    KSU Owl Sports

    Not this: 

    Click here for more information about KSU Sports

  • 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.  

  • 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.

  • Use WebAim's Color Contrast Checker. This is a great tool to help you make decisions about colors.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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 with American flag in the background

    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"

  • 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. 


    Money spent on transportation bar graph

    Money Spent on Transportation Data Text Version


  • Faculty have a couple of resources when it comes to creating captions for multimedia or transcripts for podcasts. They can use the MediaSpace process at the DLC. This option allows for the editing of captions in our KSU Kaltura MediaSpace environment. Additionally, 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.
  • KSU's MediaSpace process will also create transcripts for podcast audio recordings. The process for uploading these files is the same as for videos. Visit the MediaSpace Captioning & Transcripts page for instructions.
  • 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.


  • 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.


    SoftChalk Accessibility Statement

    VoiceThread Accessibility Statement

  • "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.'s Vendor Accessibility Resource Center keeps an updated list of published VPATs on their website for evaluation purposes.


  • "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."

    From CAST


  • The Digital Learning Innovations Accessibility Website gives information on KSU's policy, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Sections 504 & 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.