There are several things to keep in mind when providing accessible materials to your students:
- A compatible digital format obtained directly from the publisher in an accessible format (no DRM).
- A compatible digital format obtained from a digital text resource: https://www.kurzweiledu.com/news-resources/digital-text-resources.html
- A scan of the original physical copy using a scanner.
We do not recommend scanning previously copied material (such as a photocopy) unless it's your only option, because there is some quality lost with each copy/scan performed which can impact the OCR results.
Below are ten useful tips from Ithaca College. Visit their incredible website for a comprehensive guide.
- Usability: provide a logical navigational structure that is consistent from page to page, use clear fonts, straightforward language, and lists where appropriate.
- Headings: use headings correctly to organize the page. Page structure should look like a table of contents. Do not use formatting (bold, larger text, underlining) to create page hierarchies.
- Color: be aware of your use of color. Make sure there is sufficient contrast and do not use color only to convey meaning.
- Links: give links descriptive names. For example, use "If you need accommodations, visit the Student Accessibility Services website" and not "If you need accommodations, click here."
- Tables: use tables for data, not for layout. Tables should be formatted to have rows, columns, and headers.
- Images: include alt text for images and other non-text content. Do not use text in graphics or images as the only way to access information (this is the equivalent of trying to get a screen reader to read a photograph).
- Linked documents: all documents and downloadable resources should be accessible.
- Videos: all videos should be captioned (to an acceptable standard) and a transcript should also be available.
- Forms: forms should be accessible.
- Keyboard access: page content and functions should be accessible using a keyboard only (i.e., navigation without using a mouse).
Visit Academic Diversity and Inclusion's Sharepoint site for a video on teaching neurodiverse students:
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