1. K-State home
  2. »standards

K-State Online

Contact:

Visit the IT Help Desk

Phone: 785-532-7722
Walk in: Cat's Pause Lounge, K-State Student Union
E-mail: helpdesk@k-state.edu

Self-service:
Submit online service request
Search IT Knowledge Base

Accessibility Standards

As an instructor, it is important for you to consider accessibility when creating materials for the online environment. Whether you are creating a course for Global Campus or posting to KSOL, content needs to be accessible. And the best time to implement strategies for accessibility is during the creation process. Retrofitting is not a recommended practice. The materials on the tabs below provide guidance for ensuring that all course delivery methods are accessible to students with disabilities.  No matter the content, be aware of any accessibility concerns of the programs you use. Contact the Student Access Center with any questions or concerns.

To learn more, click on the buttons inside the tabbed menu.

Microsoft has step-by-step accessibility tutorials and accessibility checker tools for Office products for both Windows and Mac. Learn about key improvements in Office that make it more accessible for all at: Accessibility video training

Best Practices: Formatting Documents

  • Documents consistently use heading styles (i.e. Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.)
  • Lists are created using the Bullet or Numbered List tool
  • Links are descriptive, avoid redundancy, links avoid using non-descriptive phrases, and underlining is only used to denote active hyperlinks (keyboard shortcut to edit hyperlinks: Command + ‘K’)
  • There is sufficient color contrast between foreground and background to meet Section 508 standards
  • Spreadsheets include labels for the rows and columns, detailed labels for any charts, and is accompanied by a textual description of the spreadsheet, drawing attention to key cells, trends, and totals

Best Practices: Formatting Slides

  • Slides use templates with pre-set layouts
  • Table cells designated as row and/or column headers allow screen readers to read table cells in the correct order
  • Visual elements (color, bolding, all caps) are not used as the sole way to convey importance or meaning
  • Every image and chart uses descriptive text that includes any text visible in the image, does not contain “image of” or “picture of” and uses “” if the image is purely decorative
  • Reading order is correctly set so that content is presented in the proper sequence to screen readers and other assistive technology
  • Every slide has a unique title,
  • All text is visible in Outline View so that it can be read by assistive technology

Resources

Best Practices: Formatting Canvas Content Pages

  • Content Pages consistently use heading styles (i.e. Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.)
  • Lists are created using the Bullet or Numbered List tool in the rich content editor
  • Links are descriptive, and avoid redundancy; links avoid using non-descriptive phrases; and underlining is only used to denote active hyperlinks (keyboard shortcut: Command + ‘K’)
  • Table cells designated as row and/or column headers allow screen readers to read table cells in the correct order
  • There is sufficient color contrast between foreground and background to meet Section 508 standards
  • Visual elements (color, bolding, all caps) are not used as the sole way to convey importance or meaning
  • Every image (including those used in Pages, Discussions, Quizzes and Assignments) uses descriptive text that includes any text visible in the image
  • Does not contain “image of” or “picture of” and uses “” if the image is purely decorative

Website Accessibility and Software

If you link to a webpage for course content, use a publishing company’s textbook software, or have students use software for class, make sure to find out what options are available to make that software accessible. Any software that students use must be accessible. Contact a representative of the company and ask specific questions:

  • Please provide a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template).
  • How does your product address WCAG 2.0 AA standards?
  • How do you evaluate your produce for accessibility?
  • Who is a contact in the company if there are accessibility concerns that need to be addressed?

Web Accessibility In Mind (WebAIM) Principles

WebAim Guidelines are based on four principles:

  • Perceivable: Available to the senses (vision and hearing primarily) either through the browser or through assistive technologies (e.g. screen readers, screen enlargers, etc.)
  • Operable: Users can interact with all controls and interactive elements using either the mouse, keyboard, or an assistive device
  • Understandable: Content is clear and limits confusion and ambiguity
  • Robust: A wide range of technologies (including old and new user agents and assistive technologies) can access the content

Resources

Make sure you are aware of the accessibility settings in your web editing tool.  The following sites will help you create accessible HTML:

PDFs may all look alike, but accessibility may differ a great deal. The accessibility of the PDF depends on the accessibility of the original document.

Evaluating PDF Accessibility

  • Is the original copy clean – no highlighting, comments or underlining?
  • Can you highlight text?
  • Can you search for a keyword?
  • Make sure that you have scanned the document with OCR (or optical character recognition).
  • Even better, you can add tags to text and add headings just like an HTML page or text document done with styles
  • If you have a short article, adding text to a PDF may be enough
  • If you scan large articles or multiple chapters, adding tags is important for added navigation
  • PDFs pass the Adobe Accessibility Check with no substantial errors

The site WebAIM.org Converting Documents to PDF has more tips for PDF accessibility.

Tips to help you make your PDF documents accessible: Accessible PDF Document.docx

Each semester, many videos are posted to K-State Online. We have had a number deaf and hard-of-hearing students in online courses who need captions with all video content.

Best Practices: Audio and Video Captioning and Transcripts for Multimedia

  • Accurate transcripts are included for audio, closed captioning for video and narrative descriptions are available when possible
  • Live broadcasts include a means for displaying synchronized captions
  • Multimedia is not set to auto-play
  • Multimedia (including gifs and images) do not blink or strobe

Before You Start Filming

  • Consider currently owned proprietary videos. Check videos for captioning (feature may need to be turned on with the TV or other device)
  • Videos with English subtitles will also work
  • When purchasing new videos, buy captioned.  Captioned video will be labeled with one of the following symbols: Closed Captioned Symbols

Self-Recorded Video

While creating a transcript is often time consuming, there are some different options available to assist.

  • Consider making a transcript yourself
  • Use a graduate teaching assistant or student worker to create it for you
  • Vendors can also create the transcript
  • Contract with a recommended third-party vendor to create captions
  • Caption your own YouTube clips.
  • If funds are limited, prioritize videos to be captioned:
    • Videos being created for the first-time
    • Videos used in high enrollment classes
    • Videos used every year as part of the curriculum
    • Videos used to present new information
    • For audio files, use transcripts