What is accessibility?
Accessibility is making sure everyone, including people with disabilities, have access to the same information, services, and products.
Why is accessibility important?
Imagine you are taking an online course and part of an exam is to listen to a video and answer questions afterwards. You can only view the video once and can’t retake the exam. However, something is wrong with the audio and you can’t hear anything. You start panicking because you don’t know what is going on in the video and you can’t answer the questions. What do you do since this portion of the exam is a major percentage of the test? This poor grade might cause you to drop the class. You’ve wasted your time and money on a class you could have passed if you had the option of viewing the video with closed captioning.
As an educational institution, we firmly believe in equal opportunities for all, and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for everyone in our community to find the information they need on our website. To help visitors with disabilities, our new site is designed to work better with many of the assistive tools used for browsing websites. If we design with accessibility in mind, then we can improve the experience for all users.
We strive to achieve the recommendations of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We reference these guidelines to create web pages that successfully meet these requirements by using these techniques. This is an ongoing process and it is possible that some users may encounter problems accessing some pages or documents. If you find a page that isn’t accessible, please email email@example.com.
To test our design and markup for compliancy we used several tools and screen readers including the following: WebAIM Wave, NVDA, JAWS, ChromeVox, VoiceOver, Talk Back, Chrome Accessibility Tools, and OmniUpdate tools.
Tips and best practices
When creating documents, it is important to remember that people who are visually impaired or have limited vision will be using screen readers. The screen readers need to be able to identify all parts of your documents including text, graphics, images and tables. Here is a list of guidelines that will help screen readers identify the components of your document. Run the accessibility checker when using Microsoft Office products.
Emails, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs
- Use a normal font such as Times or Arial; nothing fancy.
- Use 10 point and above.
- Use black and white; there is no reason to use colored text.
- Stay away from using background colors. Someone with low visibility might have trouble reading the text if there isn’t enough contrast.
- When creating email messages, your text/message should not be an image. If you can’t grab the text in the email by highlighting and copying it to paste somewhere else, then it is not accessible.
- Images need accompanying descriptive text before the image.
- Make sure the image is not central to the message. If you were to take out the image or photo, would the message still make sense to someone who is blind?
- If you are not sure that your email is accessible, attach a text document.
- Do not use image links.
Inserting links or video
- When inserting links, use a descriptive text, instead of the long URL. The screen reader will be reading and telling the user where they might choose to navigate to, rather than a long line of jargon they may not understand.
- Bad Example: For more information about TCC's meningitis vaccination requirements, visit http://www.tccd.edu/Admissions/Meningitis_Vaccinations.html.
- Better Example: For more information about TCC's meningitis vaccination requirements, visit our Meningitis Vaccination
- Do not use the words Click Here. That doesn’t tell the person where the link will take them.
- Any audio or video you link to needs to have a transcript for closed captioning.
Tips for giving presentations
- Use text descriptions for all graphics and pictures so that a screen reader or Braille display can output the text.
- The reading order of the slide should be logical. This can be verified by running the accessibility checker.
Audio and Video
- Record the presentation and save it as an mp4. Then it can be given on demand to people who are blind or have a hard time seeing the presentation screen.
- If using any video clips, provide a transcript so the video can be closed captioned for people who are deaf. If there is low audio quality, having a transcript is useful for everyone.
- Have documentation on demand. Give the slides or documents ahead of time (by email) or give material on a flash drive at the time of the event.
- If using a pdf, (the easiest thing if time doesn’t permit for remediation) take content and put in a Word doc. Run the accessibility checker in Word.
Remember: When speaking about a person with a disability, you should always refer to the person first, and not the disability. Read the full article: “Terminology: What Should You Call a Person With a Disability?” by Yoji Cole, the American Council of the Blind of Nebraska.
Ricardo Coronado, Ph.D., SPHR
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
1500 Houston Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Student Accessibility Resources
Learn more about your campus's Student Accessibility Resources.
Video Phone: 817-200-7175
Trinity River Campus
Updated August 10, 2016