Creating Accessible Content and Files
Salisbury University is required to ensure that its educational content is accessible to all through the use of technologies and standards available, and to not create barriers to content or opportunities to anyone. To that end, anyone creating digital, electronic or online content is encouraged to use technology, best practices and accessibility standards to make certain their content is accessible and can be viewed by all regardless of their individual abilities.
To assist with this endeavor, we have compiled resources that can guide you through creating accessible online and electronic content.
Creating Accessible Files
Microsoft Office and other programs have built in features that can assist in creating accessible content. Below are some resources to assist with those features.
- Using the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office - from Microsoft.
- Create Accessible PDFs in Office - from Microsoft.
- Excel 2010/13 (Windows) and 2011 (Mac) from ncdae.org.
Creating Accessible Web Content
When creating web content, you want to keep in mind some basics to ensure that your content remains accessible.
- Make sure you are including alternative text or captions for images so that they can be identified and read by web readers.
- Make use of headers to structure your page rather than to emphasize text. If you need to emphasize text, use bold, italics or other styles. Likewise, don't use bold, italics or other styles to structure your page.
- Videos and audio files should be captioned and/or include a transcript. They should also not start automatically, nor should they include flashing content that could cause seizures. The W3 Consortium defines that as anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period.
- If you are using plugins or widgets, or have downloadable content, make sure they also meet accessibility standards and guidelines.
- Avoid opening new tabs or windows if possible. When unavoidable, make sure to let the user know.
For further reading and information, see the following:
- Creating Accessible Electronic Content - from ncdae.org.
- Identifying Web Accessibility Issues - from ncdae.org.
- Captioning YouTube Videos - from ncdae.org
- WebAIM Articles from WebAIM.org.
- Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool from WebAIM.org.
- Web Color Contrast Checker from WebAIM.org.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Overview from WC3.org.
At SU, there are several resources and departments available to assist with guidance and support in creating accessible content for your audience.
- The Office of Student Disability Support Services (OSDSS) provides guidance, access to resources and accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
- The Web Development Office can assist in the creation of accessible web content, as well as offer guidelines and web accessibility resources for the creation of accessible content.