Web Content, Courses, and Publications

All Web content, Blackboard courses, and electronic publications, to the extent feasible, should be made accessible to people with disabilities. If accessibility is not feasible, the information should be available by alternative means. Web sites and courses on Blackboard may be subject to Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and University non-discrimination policies. Web and Blackboard account holders are responsible for verifying that their pages and courses on Blackboard meet all university requirements including accessibility guidelines.

Below are a list of resources available to faculty and staff on a variety of accessibility topics.

Documents and Resources

Blackboard Ally is an accessibility checker available in all Blackboard courses. Ally scans files uploaded to Blackboard, looking for common accessibility issues. Ally provides insight into the course's level of accessibility, and makes suggestions on how the content could be improved, if necessary. However, it's important to note that Ally and Blackboard don’t actually prevent any files that fail to meet accessibility standards from being uploaded; and Ally and Blackboard will not make changes or fix problems unless you take action.

Microsoft Word is currently the most common word processor on the market. Word files can also be the starting point for other files, such as PDF and HTML. Having the correct tools to create accessible Word documents is imperative to improving the accessibility of your content.

Microsoft PowerPoint is presentation software typically used to display slides during face-to-face meetings. However, PowerPoint is also often used on the web and with distance education technologies so files must be accessible to users of all abilities.

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software that allows users to perform calculations and organize data by creating tables and graphs. These complex documents require further steps to ensure the content is accessible.

PDF files can be created in an assortment of programs, with varied results. Adobe Acrobat is a valuable tool to ensure your PDF documents are accessible to everyone, regardless of how they were created.

A general understanding of web accessibility principles can drastically improve the accessibility of a website. There are many accessibility problems that can be quickly and easily identified without the need for a highly technical background. Online accessibility tools can help you identify common web accessibility problems as well.