Web accessibility tips for a less-techy audience

September 19, 2012 by JoLynne Lyon

If an academic website is accessible across all its pages, the faculty and staff who contribute to it will all create and post accessible information.

Unfortunately, not all of these content creators are technological wizards. They may lack a basic understanding of web accessibility for people with disabilities.

With them in mind, staff at the CPD’s GOALS (Gaining Online Accessible Learning through Self-Study) project developed six accessibility cheat sheets for a less-techy audience. These give advice on creating accessible Microsoft Word documents, Power Points, PDF files converted from Microsoft Word, PDF files created in Adobe Acrobat X, PDF files created in Adobe InDesign, and captioned You Tube videos.

Project GOALS isĀ  within the National Center on Disability and Access of Education. It aims to make materials more accessible in higher education, and it’s supported by Utah State University and the Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Its cheat sheeets will give laypeople a variety of accessibility tips, including how to provide alternate text with photos so that people who cannot see them will still receive the information they convey. They show how to caption video for people who cannot hear, and how to create columns and tables that will make sense when they are read by screen-reading technology.

You can find more information on the NCDAE blog, which explores the nuts and bolts of accessibility in greater depth.