Cal Poly Pomona is committed to providing access to information resources and technologies to individuals with disabilities. To ensure courses are accessible to all learners, instructional materials must be delivered in a manner that is equally effective for individuals with disabilities as without disabilities.
Accessibility also supports the practice of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the concept that instructional activities and strategies need to be mindful of the diversity that learners bring to the learning environment.
Resources & Examples
- Introduction to Accessibility (CPP Accessible Technology Initiative)
- Creating Accessible Materials (CPP eLearning)
Documents and Websites
Documents and websites should use proper headings to help learners navigate the content's hierarchical structure. Headings provide visual cues as well as cues to a screen reader, allowing learners to quickly jump to the section of the document or webpage that they are interested in.
Avoid simply bolding or enlarging the text to look like headings. Be sure to use actual heading styles when creating documents or building websites. Headings are used in ascending order with (Heading 1 <h1>) being the top-most heading.
When creating a hyperlink, make sure to provide a clear description of the destination of the link, do not simply provide the URL. It should be clear to learners where the link will be taking them. Links should make sense when taken out of context. Avoid using link text such as “Click here” or “Link to...”
All images must be accompanied by alternative text, also known as alt text. Alt text is hidden text that describes what is happening in an image. Alt text allows visually impaired readers to use a screen reader to understand the content of an image. Make your alt text as descriptive as possible. Do not begin alt text by saying “This is an image of,” because the screen reader will identify the image as an image.
Captions and transcripts allow hearing impaired learners, as well as non-native speakers, the opportunity to receive the same content from audio and video that a hearing user would receive.
Captions should be included for all video materials. Closed captions, which can be turned on or off, are most commonly used, but open captions, which are always visible, are perfectly acceptable for videos. Captions should be synchronized with the audio so that the caption text appears at approximately the same time as the audio is delivered.
Transcripts are textual representations of audio clips that describe what is happening within the video and offer explanations. While captions must be verbatim of what is spoken, transcripts do not have to be. Transcripts are most commonly used with audio clips rather than with videos. Because transcripts are not embedded into videos, they can easily be scanned by computers and read by screen readers.