Caveat Emptor: Are Your Teaching Materials Truly Accessible?

Test banks, practice tests, tutorials, slides, software: Textbook publishers pitch a variety of electronic materials as companions to their books or standalone products. These publishers are aware of accessibility, and many of them will tell you their materials are “fully accessible” when they’re really not. In one recent case, a university spent thousands of dollars accommodating a student whose vision problem made […]

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Accessibility Myths, Debunked

This great page on Penn State’s accessibility site challenges several common assumptions about accessibility — including the notion that it benefits only a small percentage of students. Read “Myths of Web Accessibility.”

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Accessibility, Within Reason

Accessibility can be overdone, whether by designers/developers bent on avoiding any design element or feature that could be inaccessible or by well-meaning folks who know just enough to be dangerous. WebAIM has an excellent article on this subject called “Accessibility Gone Wild.” Here’s the gist:  This article presents a wide variety of mistakes, misconceptions, over-indulgences, […]

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What to Do About Maps, Charts, and Weird Characters

Because much of the content in STEM disciplines is conveyed via complex visuals — charts, handwritten equations, maps, etc. — making those materials accessible may seem like an impossible feat. However, with a little creativity, we can still offer students an equivalent experience using resources already available at UA. Rachel Thompson, director of emerging technology and […]

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Writing Link Text with Meaning

Screen reader users often navigate websites by generating a list of links and using simple keystrokes to explore that list. Links should, therefore, always make sense out of context. Here’s how to write links with meaning: Avoid ambiguous phrases. These include Click here Here Read more Info Tell readers what to expect. Link text should […]

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Doing Headings Right

According to WebAIM’s screen reader survey, most screen reader users navigate webpages by headings when they are available and styled correctly. Although bolded, all-caps text can mimic a heading, it doesn’t include the markup necessary for screen readers to recognize it as such. The same is true for colored and italicized text. Headings should instead […]

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Alt Text for Images and Graphics

Alternative text, or alt text, is the descriptive word or phrase read by screen readers in the place of an image, allowing its content and function to be conveyed to those with visual impairments. It also replaces an image when a browser doesn’t load, and it can help search engines identify an image’s content. In […]

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How eTech Captions Videos

Like accessible web design, captions — the text versions of audio content — benefit everyone. In addition to making a video accessible, captions make audio content searchable, and they can even help students or non-native speakers learn the terms spoken in the video. There are two general approaches to captioning: outsourcing, via vendors like 3Play […]

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