- Who am I?
- What is the Accessible Technology Initiative?
- What resources are available to accessibilize stuff?
- What's needed to make materials accessible?
Who am I?
- I am Chris Pollett, the Faculty-in-Residence for the Accessible Technology Initiative for the College of Science.
- I am a faculty member in the Computer Science Department.
- If you have questions on this initiative you want me to try to answer after I am gone, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Accessible Technology Initiative?
- Calstate Coded Memoranda AA-2007-04-PDF requires that all administrative and instructional materials be made accessible by 2012.
- Roughly, this means the materials need to meet the standards of Section 508 of the 1998 Amendment to the Federal Rehabilitation Act.
- An ad hoc approach of requiring students to request to have materials made accessible does not suffice as Section 508 says that the person with the disability does not need to self-identify.
- Making your documents accessible would probably also increase the usability of these materials, make them more likely to be findable if they are web documents, and add value to courses that have such documents.
What resources are available so I can do this and still have a life?
- Each college has a Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) for Accessibility to answer questions about accessibility and to get feedback on the progress of initiative.
- Each FIR has one student-in-residence (SIR) who has been trained in how to make Word, PowerPoint, PDF documents accessible.
For the College of Science, the SIR also knows HTML.
Faculty and staff can send documents they would like to have converted to the FIR either by e-mail or snail mail and they will be forwarded to the student.
- If a reasonable due date, reasonable document, and reasonable instructions are given, the student will make the document accessible return it to the FIR, and thence onto the faculty member.
- If someone asks you to make a document accessible and you don't know how to do it, feel free to forward the document along to me, and I'll try to get the SIR to look at it.
What documents are you likely to need converted?
- I'd like to get some feedback from you on the kinds of documents you see as needing to be converted.
Making Documents Accessible
- I'd like to now briefly describe what kinds of things you should keep in mind if you want to try to make a document accessible yourself.
- The most common case is a text document.
- The Center for Faculty Development regularly schedules workshops on how to make Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents accessible.
- The next few slides give general things to watch for split according to part of the document:
- Heading of sections
Things to Watch For - Document origin, Headings, and Images
- Scanned documents have been optically character recognized and the results proofread.
- Headings in the document are properly nested. Level 1 then level 2 then level 3; don't skip heading levels.
- Headings should be used rather than changing font-size as screen-readers use these to generate table of contents
- All images either have alternative text or captions
Things to Watch For - Tables and Lists
- Tables should have captions in Word or Powerpoint; in HTML, you should use the summary attribute.
- Repeat table headings if there is a page break.
- Beware of nested tables as the reading order of screen readers will often be confused.
- If you are listing items, for some visual impairments the list is very confusing if it is all on one line: Use a vertical list.
Things to Watch For - Links
- Link text should be descriptive of where the link goes: Not "click me."
- For documents which may be printed have the link text be the actual url.
- Between hypertext links you should have at least one character that is not a hypertext link.
- Links should warn people if they go off site/document, or if they will require a plug-in to use. For example, the link text might end with: -offsite ; or -PDF; or -PPT; etc.
Things to Watch for - Text
- Text versus background should have sufficient contrast.
- A reading flow between text boxes has been set up. (If you only have one text box, this is not a problem.)
- Beware of character encodings: If possible always choose utf-8 for the web.
- Ligatures sometimes confuse screen readers.
Things to Watch for - Forms
- Avoid using text-based formatting such as underscores to indicate form-field elements - these are actually read by the screen-reader.
- Each field in the form should have an associated label.
- Avoid field items all on the same line, this also tends to confuse screen-readers.