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Re: Quick Reference Guide for PreK-12 Teachers onAccessiblityBest Practices


From: Lovely, Brian (CONT)
Date: Oct 6, 2017 1:06PM

Inform and enable, but don't infantilize non-sighted users: they only need the same information as a sighted user, not more. If "profile" is enough for a sighted user, it's enough for anyone.

Use native HTML wherever possible; avoid the temptation to build actionable elements from non-semantic containers, JavaScript, and CSS unless you are willing to put in the research and effort to do it right.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Joy Relton
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2017 2:47 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Quick Reference Guide for PreK-12 Teachers on Accessiblity Best Practices

First, Spell and grammar check. "Accessibility is misspelled. Also pay attention, as you want the students to, to the use of the word in context by setting your spell checker and grammar checker to indicate these things and spell check automatically at the end of the creation of the document and before posting or sending.
2. Emphasize creating structure through the proper use of headings, links, lists, etc.
3. Use the built-in tools to create structure such as headings to ensure that assistive technology perceives it as a "heading" and it doesn't just look like one to those who are sighted.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Lorie Jessup
Sent: Friday, October 6, 2017 11:25 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Quick Reference Guide for PreK-12 Teachers on Accessiblity Best Practices

Hi All,

I have been asked to put together a Quick Reference Guide for my staff in my school district that they can refer to when working on their website that has the top points they need to consider when making their website accessible.

We use a software application, Schoolwires, which is owned by Blackboard, as our website creation tool, but some of our staff still put up some of their own content and therefore need to make sure that content is accessible.

I have borrowed some of the ideas from Blackboard and started the Quick Reference Guide. I would appreciate the forum to let me know if you agree with my list and suggest any additions or eliminations.

Thank you in advance for your input!

Lorie Jessup
Oswego School District 308
Oswego, IL

*Here is my Quick Reference Guide so far:*

Evaluate all content for the following elements:

- Use Descriptive Headings
- Images have alternative text
- No images of text or blinking images and animations
- Do not scan and save pages as images to post on your website
- Use Lists over Tables
- Word and PowerPoint documents are properly structured
- Make hyperlinks descriptive
- PDFs are tagged for accessibility
- Videos are captioned
- Instructions are clear and succinct
- Color choices have proper contrast
- Tables are not used for layout

*Simple ways you can make your content accessible!*

1. Use descriptive headings to organize content. Headings are
critical when creating accessible content. They provide the ability to directly jump to content and can save assistive tool users hours of time.
Keep it simple and use the heading styles provided by the tool you are writing in.

2. Don't use font styles alone to indicate importance. Screen readers
don't identify font styles such as bold and color. When you need to give a strong visual cue, make sure that you use an accessible alternative. For example, use an exclamation mark at the end of your sentence if it is important. Screen readers intonate exclamation and question marks. Meaning it will not read "question mark" but will give a questioning tone to a question.

3. Add alternative (alt) text to your images. First ask yourself what
the purpose of the image is. If you don't know the meaning or purpose of the image, don't use it! It is clutter and will be overwhelming to those with learning disabilities. Next, add alt text that is simple, succinct, and describe exactly what the image is. For example, alt="photograph of a Cell Dividing". If the image is a diagram that conveys more complicated information a long description or textual format of the material is required.

4. Make your links descriptive. Every link should describe what the
user can expect to find when they click it. Web addresses or URL's are not considered informative and should not be used. Tell your users when links are going to a new window as new windows can be disorientating.

5. Use lists over tables when you can. Tables can be made accessible
but screen reader users need to know advanced keystroke commands to navigate and understand them. If you do use tables, use column headers.
This causes the screen reader to re-announce the column heading for each cell as the user navigates through. This gives the user context for each content. Consider how each cell will read when naming the columns and adding information to the cell.

6. Include descriptive captions to your videos. Including descriptive
captions to your content ensures users with hearing impairments are able to consume it.

7. Format your files to be accessible. One of the top complaints
heard from students with visual impairments is the inability to consume attached files. Format any attached documents with appropriate headings to ensure they can be properly consumed by screen readers. Use the "Formatting and Style" options available in Microsoft Office, Adobe or other word processing tools when creating your documents to define appropriate headings and lists.

8. Tag PDF files. Attached PDF files need to be properly tagged to
ensure their structure can be read by screen readers. Simple methods for "print" or "save" to PDF create a single image of the file. While the document will look like it is properly structured the screen reader will not be able to interact with or read any of the material. For details about making accessible PDF documents, see https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/create-verify-pdf-accessibility.html

9. Provide students with clear expectations, instructions, and
directions for all assignments and tests. Students with cognitive impairments or learning disabilities can have trouble focusing on even simple tasks. Clear directions and understandable expectations can help them focus, making them much more likely to succeed.
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