Digital Accessibility Checklist for Courses
The College of Science and Engineering has compiled this course accessibility checklist to help ensure that your Blackboard content meets federal requirements.
For help or more information about any items listed here, contact the Instructional Technology Office.
- All text appears in a font size of at least 12 pt.
- Only San Serif fonts were used throughout the content.
- All bulleted or ordered lists were designated using the editor toolbar.
- Text is not underlined unless it is a hyperlink.
- Hyperlinks use descriptive text to provide meaning and context for links. (Links are not designated with text such as “read more” or “click here.”)
- Text is used for hyperlinks rather than URLs.
- Text formatting (shape, color, and styling) are not used exclusively to convey information. Example: If you have a list of projects, and some were declared winners, you cannot use only bold text to identify winners. You would also need to write “winner.”
- Headings have been created using heading styles.
- A logical heading structure has been used so that subheadings have been designated and nested appropriately.
- Images do not blink, flash or use sparkling animation.
- All pictures, charts, and graphs that contain information or data also have alternate text or a text description that conveys the same information.
- Images of text have been avoided except where a particular presentation of text as images is essential to the information being conveyed.
- Scanned PDFs are not used.
- Proper heading styles and structure have been used throughout all documents.
- PowerPoint presentations have been created using templates.
- Accessibility checks in programs such as Word and PowerPoint indicate that content follows your intended reading order.
- Documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) are formatted and saved as HTML or PDF accessible.
- Tables are used for tabular data, not for layout purposes.
- Complex tables with merged or split cells have been broken down into smaller simple tables.
- Tables include properly identified column and/or row headings.
- Course can be navigated with only a keyboard.
- Navigation menu items are consistent on each web page.
- Text and background color have sufficient contrast on all documents and web pages.
- These color combinations are avoided: red/black, red/green, and blue/yellow.
- Color alone is not used to indicate meaning. Example: You could not have a list of items and say that the items in red are overdue.
- All audio content includes transcripts.
- All videos include synchronized captions.
Once you have completed your course content, here are a few checks you can do to ensure your information is digitally accessible:
- Try navigating your course with your keyboard. Can you do everything you would need to do as a student? Watch this keyboard accessibility video for more information.
- Download a browser extension that will run an accessibility check. WebAIM’s WAVE tool works in Blackboard using Chrome or Firefox.
- For Microsoft Word documents, select “Check Accessibility” to generate a report about the accessibility of your document. Google the version of Word that you are using to get instructions for accessing the tool. Watch this Productivity/Accessibility video from the Office of the Texas Governor for more info.
- For PowerPoint presentations, select the “Outline” view to see the reading order of the text from your PowerPoint. (Using the pre-made PowerPoint templates typically ensures proper reading order.)
- Try to highlight some text within your PDF documents. If it highlights, you’ll also want to see the Adobe Accessibility Report to ensure that the reading order in your document is correct.
- Select the HTML view in your editor toolbar in Blackboard and check the semantic structure of your content. Are all of your headings appropriately identified?
- Use a tool like the Paciello Group’s Colour Contrast Analyser to ensure that you have sufficient contrast between your text and background.
- Call the Instructional Technology Office to get another person to double-check your work.
Checklist items are derived from Section 504 and Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, WCAG 2.0 requirements, Office of Civil Rights rulings involving online education, and principles outlined by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.
Courses at colleges and universities are required to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at Level AA compliance. Read the World Wide Web Consortium’s WCAG 2 at a Glance information to learn more about the guidelines and how to put them into context within your courses.
WebAIM’s WCAG 2.0 Checklist
Web Accessibility In Mind (WebAIM) has created this WCAG 2.0 Checklist with recommendations for implementing web principles and techniques for WCAG 2.0 conformance.
Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides the strategy for implementing digital accessibility concepts in your courses.
CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that focuses on UDL and makes resources publicly available.
The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center promotes awareness and accessibility and offers extensive resources about UDL and digital accessibility.