Creating Accessible Content

Overview: Create Accessible Content and Make Accessibility a Habit. 

What: Make accessibility a habit. There is no longer a valid excuse for not making your learning materials accessible. Accessible materials and content include text, audio, video, images, test questions and quizzes, and feedback. 

Why: Accessibility is foundational to our It’s Time framework. The It’s Time framework prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). DEI is integrated into everything we do as a campus community (It's time St. Cloud State). It is also the law, refer to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (ADA.gov). Finally, it is the right thing to do. Don’t wait until you receive the accommodation request to make your learning materials accessible. 

How: Microsoft Office applications and Adobe Acrobat have a built in ACCESSIBILITY CHECKER for step-by-step instructions to fix inaccessible materials. For further assistance, please review the website Explore Access: Tools for Promoting Disability Access and Inclusion.  The table below is a list of the commonly used software and most frequently used features for creating accessible content along with links to websites for detailed instructions.  

Content 

Features 

Why do it 

How to do it 

PowerPoint  

  1. Reading order 

  1. Images 

  1. Color contrast 

Allows screen reading software to read slides in the correct order. 

  1. MS support: Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities 

  1. MS support video: Create slides with accessible reading order 

  1. MS support video: Use accessible colors and styles in slides 

WORD  

  1. Headings 

  1. Sans serif font 

  1. Allows screen reading software to pause, which signals a new section. 

  1. Allows the visually impaired (or dyslexic) to read the words more clearly. 

MS support: Make you Word documents accessible to people with disabilities 

PDFs  

  1. Language 

  1. Title 

  1. Tags 

  1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) 

  1. Allows screen reading software to read aloud the content correctly.  

  1. Allows screen reading software to search and identify documents better. 

  1. Allows screen reading software to identify features readily accessible in Word documents. 

  1. Allows the document to be searched for specific words, the text to be selected, and the screen reading software to read aloud the content correctly.   

MS support: Create accessible PDFs 

Excel Spreadsheets 

  1. Names (cells, ranges, worksheets) 

  1. A1 cell 

  1. Simple design 

  1. Allows screen reading software to readily identify the purpose of each. 

  1. Signals the screen reading software to begin reading at the A1 cell. 

  1. Allows screen reading software to keep up with its location as it reads the document. 

MS support: Make your Excel doc accessible to people with disabilities 

Word Tables  

  1. Headers first row 

  1. Repeat header rows 

  1. Alternative (Alt) text 

  1. Allows screen reading software to identify the information on the top row. 

  1. Allows the heading to appear at the top of any rows that spread to subsequent pages. 

  1. Allows the visually impaired and screen reader software to read the title and description of the table’s content. 

MS support video: Create accessible tables in Word 

Email 

  1. Paragraph Banners 

  1. Alt Text to visuals 

  1. Descriptive hyperlinks 

  1. Lists 

  1. Alternative to tables that create a background color block to organize information. 

  1. Explains to people unable to see the screen what important image is being included in the message.  

  1. Allows screen readers to describe where the link goes. 

  1. Allows screen reader to read lists efficiently.  

MS support: Make your Outlook email accessible to people with disabilities 

Video 

  1. Captions 

  1. Transcript 

  1. Allow users to read what the speakers are saying simultaneously. 

  1. Allow users to read the full transcript of the spoken words.  

Kaltura Learning: MediaSpace How to Videos 

 

Audio  

  1. Transcript 

  1. Allows users to read what the speakers are saying. 

Kaltura Learning: How to use express capture 

 

Images 

  1. Alternative (alt) text 

  1. Allows the visually impaired and screen reader software to read the context of the image. Items marked as a decorative image will be ignored by a screen reader.  

MS support:  Everything you need to know to write effective alt text 

Links (to outside sources) 

  1. Embedding URLs to word(s) within a statement 

  1. Allows screen reading software to easily identify hyperlinked text. 

MS support video: Create accessible links in Word 

 

Colors 

  1. High contrast 

  1. Allows the visually impaired (and with neurological conditions) to better read the text.  

MS support: Use color and contrast for accessibility in MS 365 

Additional Assistance 

There are a variety of departments available to assist with creating accessible content for learning.   

  1. Student Accessibility Services (SAS), assists students, faculty, and staff with accommodations. 

  1. SCSU Online & Distance Learning, can assist faculty with the processes required to make content accessible. Reach out to a team member individually via email listed on the website or use the MS Bookings link to schedule a meeting.   

  1. The MN State System Office (SO) Network for Educational Development (NED) Accessibility SharePoint site offers extensive resources on accessibility.  

Want more information?  

Microsoft Support: Make your content accessible to everyone 

Microsoft Support: Get accessible templates for Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint 

WebAIM Web accessibility in mind: WebAIM.org 

SCSU Knowledge Base: Save ZOOM Recordings to MN State MediaSpace 

References:  

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (n.d.). Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act. https://www.ada.gov/topics/intro-to-ada/ 

Microsoft Support (n.d.). https://support.microsoft.com/en-US 

St. Cloud State University (n.d.). Redefining St. Cloud State University It’s Time. https://www.stcloudstate.edu/its-time/ 

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Details

Article ID: 147609
Created
Tue 10/10/23 9:03 AM
Modified
Fri 12/29/23 8:28 AM