Tips for Creating Accessible Content
ECC is sharing accessibility resources that demonstrate our commitment to equity, accessibility, and inclusion of people with disabilities.
When creating content, there are a few basic steps to ensure accessibility. The core steps needed for accessibility are the same regardless of whether your document is in HTML, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Adobe PDF, or another document format:
- Use headings
- Use lists
- Use meaningful hyperlinks
- Add alternate text to images
- Identify document language
- Create accessible tables
- Use the accessibility checker
- Preserve accessibility when exporting to PDF
By using the built-in headings and styles in Microsoft and Google, you are taking great steps to improving the accessibility of your documents for individuals who use assistive technology software and apps. Use Heading 1 for the main heading, Heading 2 for the sub-heading, and so forth when creating your syllabi, meeting minutes, manuals, handouts, etc.
When creating lists, use the built-in list functions in Microsoft and Google. Bulleted lists should be used to show a list of related items. Numbered lists should be used to show the steps in a process. Use the “space after paragraph” option to include a space between each line of the list.
Individuals, who are blind or low vision, may use screen-reading software to access content, and when the individuals enter a list in a document, the screen-reading software will read the number of items on the list.
How do you change a hyperlink from https://elgin.edu/life-at-ecc/services-resources/technical-help/ecc-email/ to Elgin Community College Email Services in your emails, PowerPoints, and documents? To create accessible hyperlinks, check out this short tutorial by Microsoft and the brief tips through Google.
Editing hyperlinks is an easy step that we can do to enhance the professional look and feel of our digital materials and increase the accessibility of those materials for individuals who are blind or low vision, have physical disabilities, or experience other barriers.
When using images, graphs, and charts in your digital content, it is important to include alternative text or “Alt Text” to describe the visual information for individuals who are blind or low vision. Include succinct Alt Text descriptions, but ensure that the Alt Text descriptions provide enough information to convey the meaning of the images, graphs, and charts.
Indicate the main language used within the document and any additional languages that may be used for specific content in the document to ensure that screen reading software is accurately reading the content.
Try to keep your tables simple. Avoid split cells, merged cells, or nested tables.
Microsoft’s video tutorial explains the steps to best organize information in a table. Under Table Properties, check “Repeat as header row at the top of each page” and uncheck “Allow row to break across pages.”
By using Microsoft's Accessibility Checker and Grackle Accessibility Checker for G Suite, which is a Google add-on, we can easily and quickly verify that our digital materials are accessible to the growing population of people with disabilities. The accessibility checker will provide you with simple step-by-step instructions on how to make changes to your materials in order to improve accessibility.
When you send emails through ECC's Webmail by Outlook, you can use the accessibility checker by clicking on the "More actions" feature at the bottom of your email and selecting "Check for accessibility issues."
Ensure the accessibility of the document prior to converting the document to a PDF.
To ensure accessibility of your videos, include accurate captioning and audio descriptions.
Closed captioning of videos provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
By adding audio descriptions, which are verbal descriptions of what is being visually portrayed in the video, you are increasing your access to individuals who are blind or low vision.