OER at Georgian

How do I know it's accessible?

accessible infographic - long description provided below the image source/caption

Image source: "Accessible Communication. It's the Law!" by Giulia Forsythe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image Description: "Accessible Communication. It's the Law!" by Giuila Forsythe reminds us that the Ontario Human Rights Code specifies that we need to make web content accessible to avoid creating barriers that can restrict the ability for some users to access our materials. While this is a law, accessibility also contributes to good customer service. The graphic reminds us to use plain language (consider audience, active voice, short sentences and don't use jargon), use white space and align to the left of the page, chose your fonts carefully (12-14pt is encouraged), use CSS and style sheets rather than tables for formatting, consider captions for multimedia and alt tags for images, and provide alternate text or other formats upon request, for free!  [Image description notes adapted from "Accessible Communication. It's the Law!" by Giulia Forsythe used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ].

Adding a long description to complex images (such as this infographic) in the text around the image helps to ensure that all users benefit from the alt-tag, not just those who use screen readers. The alt-tag for this image mentions that a long description of the image is below the image source attribution.

Accessibility depends on the content added/imported!!

Content items that can present accessibility challenges include:

  • Images, including diagrams, photos and charts
  • HTML tables
  • Video, multimedia and interactive elements
  • Math and science equations
  • Links to other websites & files

If you are preparing an OER that includes these elements, please review the content below for suggestions. Connect with the OER Librarian for help auditing your OER for accessibility issues!  Remember, if you are importing or combining other OERs, you should be checking to ensure that all elements of your import/reuse have accessible formats.

Best practices for Accessible images

If you are re-using, adapting or otherwise re-purposing other OER content, check to ensure that accessibility must haves (such as appropriate alt-tags for images) have survived the import process. In some cases, alt-tags may be truncated, not imported, or were not present/sufficient in the original source.

Best practices for Accessible Links

Quick tips for ensuring your links are accessible & useful for all learners:

  1. Avoid using "click here" or "more" as linked text. Make your link text descriptive. For example: Accessibilty Toolkit BCCampus is a great site where you can read more about this issue.
  2. Remember that if you write out a full URL, screenreaders may read every letter out... "https://opentextbc.ca/accessibilitytoolkit/chapter/links/" which can be a bit tedious.
  3. If your link will open in a new window or tab, label the link so that this is obvious. For example: Accessibilty Toolkit BCCampus [New Tab] is a great site ...  This will alert the user so there are no surprises.
  4. If your link points to a non-HTML file format that will open a new program, indicate this. For example: Complex Images for All Learners: A Guide to Making Visual Content Accessible [PDF] . This alerts the user to what will happen when they click the link. If they don't have the software necessary, they can make arrangements or chose not to open the file.

These simple changes will help improve the user experience for all learners.

Additional accessibility improvements

There are some additional improvements that you can implement, but are a bit more involved. Please see the links below and reach out to the OER Librarian for tips!

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