Alternative formats Policy & strategy

Checking the accessibility of your e-resources

When you are procuring new institutional platforms (such as eBook, VLE, content creation platforms) or licences have come up for renewal again, check which of the following features are available. If a significant number of these features are missing you might renegotiate costs based on the extra costs you might incur in supporting print impaired learners.

You might not expect a platform to have absolutely every sub point in the list but it is reasonable to expect something positive under each heading.

  • Magnification: ideally look for
    • Page magnification so you can zoom in on images and/or text,
    • Text magnification to 25 point text equivalent or more
    • Text reflow so that as text is magnified the lines rewrap to fit the size of the screen, reducing the need for left-right scrolling.
  • Text to speech – which of these options are available?
    • Text can be selected and used with text to speech tools
    • Text can be copied to the clipboard for use with a clipboard reader or third party text to speech tool.
    • If a version is available for mobile devices it integrates with any inbuilt text to speech functionality in the operating system
    • There is an inbuilt text to speech feature.
  • Users can navigate by meaningful signposts including interactive links to
    • Chapters
    • Section headings and subheadings
  • Users can change text appearance including
    • Default font size
    • Font type
    • Font colour
    • Background colour
  • There are keyboard shortcuts and alternatives for non-mouse users.
    • The tab order is logical
    • Skip links enable keyboard only users to quickly get to the body text.
  • Non text media has alternative descriptions
    • The key teaching points of images are available in captions, Alt tags or the body text,
    • The key teaching points of video or audio are available as summaries, transcripts or subtitles as appropriate.
    • Formulae and equations are rendered in MathML.
  • The resources have been tested with assistive technologies for example:
    • Screenreaders
    • Voice recognition
    • Text to speech
  • There is an easily discovered help page where guidance on the above can be found.

This checklist won’t guarantee 100% accessibility but platforms that score well will generally have far fewer barriers for the majority of your print impaired learners.

2 replies on “Checking the accessibility of your e-resources”

…and if you come up with any good additions or alternatives then please let us know and we’ll add them!

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