What is Web Accessibility

About Web Accessibility

Desktop and Mobile accessibilityAccessibility refers to the ability of every person to access the information presented in a course,, no matter what the mode of delivery. Whether distance ed or in-person with digital components, all materials should be accessible, including web pages, videos, documents and files, and other web-based or electronic media sources.

Accessible distance education takes into account the special needs of people with auditory, visual, mobility, and cognitive impairments. Accessible materials give these users an equivalent browsing, viewing, and communication experience to that of non-disabled individuals.

Which Online Materials Need to be Made Accessible?

  • All Web-based HTML files, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, video files, audio files, etc. must be made accessible.
  • All Web-based materials for use with online, hybrid, blended, or face-to-face classes must be compliant.
  • Content created within the Canvas learning management system by the instructor.
  • Files uploaded to the Canvas learning management system by the instructor.
  • Material created or controlled by the instructor, but hosted on another server.
  • Class content maintained and hosted elsewhere will be reviewed for compliance, including class content provided by textbook publishers and third-party websites.

Best Practices to Achieve Online Accessibility

  • Maintain accessible pages in the course management system (Canvas). 
    • Add alternative text to images
    • Use correct headings and lists
    • Add table header cells to data tables
    • Use colors with strong contrast
    • Write descriptive hyperlink text

See the Canvas Accessibility page for more information.‚Äč

Distance Education Services

  • Offers training and consultations to faculty.
  • Provides how-to tutorials and step-by-step instructions via the Distance Education web site.
  • Reviews courses for accessibility and provide feedback and support to instructors.
  • Assists instructors with difficult accessibility compliance tasks including remediation of PDFs, Word, and PowerPoint documents.
  • Supports accessibility plan development to proactively address course barriers. 
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