What do we mean?
Accessible means something is usable by as many people as possible, regardless of their cognitive, physical or cultural situation.
We have a responsibility as educators, as humans and by law to make content digitally accessible.
Links, hyperlinks or URLs are shortcuts that can take you to a different document or webpage.
Accessible Structure (headings and styles)
Heading styles format text consistently and allow assistive technology users navigate your content.
What should I do?
- Always use heading styles in Word and on the web (e.g. Moodle).
- Do not manually change the font size by selecting text.
- In PowerPoint, use the default layouts or check the reading order of added textboxes and images for slides.
- Organise information under headings and subheadings.
Why do it?
- For users with blind or low vision who use screen readers, the heading information (rather than font size) is essential to distinguish between different sections. This allows these users to understand the document structure and navigate between
- Users with motor impairments, dyslexia or processing impairments can use assistive technologies to easily navigate around long documents more easily.
- For users with dyslexia, other processing impairments or non-native English speakers, organising content under headings can help processing. Structuring a document with headings helps users navigate without reading every word and eases extrinsic cognitive
- For users with blind or low vision who use screen readers, setting the correct reading order for text boxes and images in PowerPoint is needed so content is read in the correct order.
- As an author, formatting documents in this way leads to consistent formatting and other productivity gains (e.g. an automatic table of contents).
To set the style of a portion of text: select the text, then from the home ribbon (top of the screen), either select:
- Heading 1 (use once for the main document title)
- Heading 2 (for the main topics/chapters)
- Heading 3 (for sub headings)
Inside the Moodle text editor, first select the text, then click the i Paragraph styles dropdown icon and pick the appropriate heading style.
You should give every slide a unique title to help screen reader program easily navigate through slides.
For a given slide, the reading order needs to be set so that a screen reader program will read the contents out in the correct order (if you've used the default slide layouts, this has the reading order pre-set).
If you moved or added image/text boxes to a slide, you will need to set the correct reading order of elements. From the ribbon, click Review
Check Accessibility dropdownReading Order pane. Rearrange the items in the order they should be read (see video below or written how-to resource)
How can I spot these issues?
- To see if a heading style is applied in Word, move the cursor to the heading, the corresponding heading style will appear selected in the Styles ribbon.
- Use the Microsoft Accessibility Checker (see later Checking your content section) which flags slides where the reading order may have been modified.
Accessibility scenario activity
Play through the scenario using the arrow buttons on the bottom of the window and select the true/false statements.