"“Web accessibility ensures websites are usable for people who are blind, low vision, deaf, hard of hearing, color-blind, have photosensitive seizure disorders and those with a mobility disability that prohibits them from using a mouse.” (Sorensen, PCC)
The definition of "accessible" used by the Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education regarding inaccessible IT states:
"Accessible" means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability."" (Burgstahler).
“Web accessibility is not just important, federal law requires it for post-secondary institutions that receive any federal funding such as financial aid or Title III grants. If the websites from a federally funded institution of higher education or the content on those websites is inaccessible to a person with disabilities, that college or university is out of compliance with federal disability laws Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and at risk for an investigation by the Office of Civil Rights and a discrimination lawsuit from a student with a disability.” (Sorensen, PCC)
Fresno Pacific University aims to achieve the accessibility success criteria of the Level AA WCAG 2.0 standards (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). WCAG 2.0 is the standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Standards surrounding web-based content can be framed around these main questions:
Accessible course elements may be grouped into the following categories (adopted from QM and WCAG)
True columns, true lists
Clear table structure and headers
Consistent layout and design
Clearly labeled links, files, and icons
Folder depth no greater than two levels
High color contrast
Simple themes, backgrounds, patterns
Color is not the only identifier
Alternative text for images
No flashing animations
Checked with Microsoft or Adobe Accessibility tool and issues fixed
Sources: Podcast or audio lecture
Provide an accessible text transcript of the spoken word in .HTML, .DOC or
.TXT format. Speech recognition software is never 100% accurate. Transcripts made by software should be checked for errors.
Third-party video Sources: YouTube, Vimeo, Ted Talks, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Crackle, iTunes.
Provide closed captions that are synced, accurate, and punctuated. Search YouTube and Google for captioned media.
Instructor video (pre-recorded)
Sources: Vidgrid, YouTube, Camtasia, Screencast-O-Matic Provide closed captions that are synced, accurate, and punctuated. Any visual elements of an instructor-produced video need audio description to be accessible by people who are blind.
FPU has an institutional license with VidGrid with provision for closed-captioning services. Learn more about VidGrid.
Hyperlinks should be edited to be easily readable and to clearly indicate destination.
Instructors, the Disability Access and Education, and the Center for Online Learning are responsible for assisting instructors in providing accessible course content, collaborating to identify and implement appropriate and reasonable accommodations for students.
As the facilitator, subject matter expert and/or the course developer, an instructor:
An instructor is responsible for indicating to COL which items need to be retrofitted in pre-existing courses when notified by DAE that a student requires specific accommodations.
As the online course development facilitator and faculty resource, COL:
(adapted from PCC Distance Education)