Accessibility Guidelines and Fixes by Content Type

Note: It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure that all documents they create are accessible, including those created with programs other than those listed within these Guidelines.

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D2L HTML WebpagesEmailExcel SpreadsheetsGoogle DocsGoogle SheetsGoogle SlidesMultimedia (Audio and Video)PDF DocumentsPowerPoint PresentationsWord Documents

General

D2L HTML Webpages Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Hyperlinks indicate if they open in a new window or tab.

  • Manual Check

It is important to warn individuals when a new window has been opened.

    The best way to indicate that a hyperlink opens in a new window is to:
  • Add text to the hyperlink, such as "(opens in a new window)", or
  • Ensure "opens in a new window" is part of the HTML code for the hyperlink. Note: This is the advanced method.
    To add text to a hyperlink:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select Edit HTML.
  2. Select the hyperlink.
  3. Select the Insert Quicklink icon to edit the hyperlink.
  4. In the Title text field, type (opens in a new window).
  5. Select Update to save the title change.
  6. Select Update again to save the D2L Webpage.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Manual Check

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a descriptive hyperlink:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select Edit HTML.
  2. Copy the URL (web address) by selecting the link, right-click on the mouse, then select Copy.
  3. In the same vicinity, type a clear, concise description for the URL.
  4. Select the description text.
  5. Select the Insert Quicklink icon, then scroll down and expand the URL menu.
  6. In the URL text field, paste the URL (web address) previously copied.
  7. Select Insert to add the hyperlink, then select Update or Save.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Ally in D2L
  • D2L Accessibility Checker

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select Edit HTML.
  2. Select the text.
  3. Select the Font Color menu, then select a font color. Change light font colors to a darker shade. Generally speaking, avoid using font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

Use WebAIM's Contrast Checker to find an appropriate color contrast.

The webpage has a set language, and the set language is correct.

  • Ally in D2L

Webpages should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce document text.

Guidance Coming Soon

Use proper ordered/unordered list structures.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker

Hand-created lists cannot be read properly by screen readers because a proper list structure is needed to inform users that a list is present.

    Lists convey a hierarchical content structure to screen reader users.
  • Unordered lists (bullet points) are used when list items can be arranged randomly.
  • Ordered lists (numbered or lettered) are used when a sequential order is important.
    To add an ordered or unordered list structure:
  • From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select Edit HTML.
  • Select the list text.
  • Select the List Menu, then select Unordered List (bullets), or Ordered List (numbers).

Headings

D2L HTML Webpages Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Webpage uses headings, and follows a logical structure.

  • Ally in D2L

Sighted users rely on text size and bold to identify different sections, properly coding those as headings allows screen reading users to do the same.

Content is organized using headings that follow a logical structure.

Headings are important as they provide structure to a webpage. When proper headings are used, the webpage becomes much easier to understand and navigate for all users.

Headings should be hierarchical, starting at heading level 1 for the title of the webpage, then heading level 2 for the sections of the webpage, then heading level 3 for subsections, and so on. Heading levels should not be skipped.

    To add or edit headings:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. Select the text.
  3. From the Format drop-down menu, select the appropriate heading level.
    Keep in mind the following:
  • The webpage title should be heading 1.
  • Section titles should begin at heading level 2.
  • Sub-sections should be heading level 3.

Webpage headings begin at level 1.

  • Manual Check

Webpage headings should always begin with Heading 1 or Level 1. For most webpages, the title of the webpage should be Heading 1 or Level 1. Webpages should only have one Heading 1 identified.

    To change heading levels:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. Select the text.
  3. From the Format drop-down menu, select the appropriate heading level.

Images

D2L HTML Webpages Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Ally in D2L
  • D2L Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add alternative text:
  1. Within the HTML editor, select the Insert Image icon.
  2. Upload the desired image.
  3. Select Add.
  4. When prompted, enter alternative text.
  5. Select Ok.
    To edit/review alternative text:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. Click on the image needing alternative text.
  3. From the pop-up menu options, select the Image Options icon.
  4. Type the alt text into the Image Description field.
  5. Select Ok.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

D2L HTML Webpages Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Table is created using the table tool.
  • Avoid using tabs to mimic tables.
  • Manual Check

Table data or information must be presented using the table tool. Proper table markups will alert users that a table is present, including the number of rows and columns.

Mimicking tables by tabbing will not alert screen reader users that a table-like object is present.

    To create a table:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. From the Table Creator, select the number of rows and columns needed.
  3. Type or copy/paste the information into the table.

Tables specify column header information.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

    To specify a table header:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. Select the cells of the header row or column.
  3. From the table menu in the Rich Content Editor, select Cell Properties.
  4. From the Cell Type menu, select Row Header.
    1. Select Column Header if the headings are by column.
    2. If both headings are present, select both options.
  5. Select Update.

Tables within the webpage contain a caption.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker

Set a brief descriptive text to indicate the content of the table.

    To add a caption:
  1. From the D2L Webpage drop-down menu, select to Edit HTML.
  2. Select the table.
  3. Select the Table drop-down menu.
  4. Select Table Properties.
  5. Select the checkbox to Include Caption.
  6. Select Update.
  7. Enter the table caption in the top row of the table.
  8. Select Save and Close.

General

Email Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Email subject line is descriptive.

  • Manual Check

Descriptive subject lines allow users to know exactly what to expect. This is especially useful for individuals using assistive technologies .

When drafting an email, type a descriptive subject in the subject line.

Use proper ordered/unordered list structures.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Hand-created lists cannot be read properly by screen readers because a proper list structure is needed to inform users that a list is present.

    Lists convey a hierarchical content structure to screen reader users.
  • Unordered lists (bullet points) are used when list items can be arranged randomly.
  • Ordered lists (numbered or lettered) are used when a sequential order is important.
    To add an ordered or unordered list structure: Use the built-in bullet or numbering tools to create a list structure.
  1. Highlight the list items.
  2. Select either the bullet icon or the numbering icon.

Note: Some re-formatting may be required.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid the use of font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Manual Check

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a hyperlink:
  1. Copy the URL (web address) you wish to use.
  2. Select the text you wish to make a hyperlink.
  3. Select the Hyperlink icon from the options.
  4. Paste the URL (web address) into the Address bar.
  5. Select Ok.

Multiple elements (i.e. color, underline, italics, etc.) are used to illustrate meaning.

  • Manual Check

Color should not be used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. If color is used to illustrate a concept, be sure to provide alternative means of obtaining the same information or provide an explanation within the text itself.

For example, color alone should not be used to distinguish hyperlinks from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.

Add additional elements to items in which meaning is illustrated through color alone. This could include underlining, adding a note at the top of the document explaining that correct answers are underlined.

Keep in mind that color can be used with additional elements, as long as the contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text is present.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

    To edit the font type or size:
  1. From the Font menu, select an appropriate font type.
  2. From the Font Size menu, select 12 or larger.

Images

Email Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • D2L Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    For Outlook:
  1. Right-click on the image, then select Add Alternative Text.
  2. Enter alt text in the text field.
  3. Select Ok.
    For Gmail:
  1. Guidance coming soon.
    For D2L Email:
  1. Within the HTML editor, select the Insert Image icon.
  2. Upload the desired image.
  3. Select Add.
  4. When prompted, enter alternative text.
  5. Select Ok.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

Email Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

    To test the reading order:
  1. Place your cursor in the first cell of the table.
  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly to navigate through the table.

This will be the reading order that assistive technologies follow.

Tables specify column header information.

  • D2L Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

    For Outlook:
  1. Select the header row of the table.
  2. Right-click and select Header Row.
    For Gmail:
  1. Guidance Coming Soon.
    For D2L Email:
  1. From within the HTML Editor, select the cells of the header row or column.
  2. From the table menu in the Editor, select Cell Properties.
  3. From the Cell Type menu, select Row Header.
    1. Select Column Header if the headings are by column.
    2. If both headings are present, select both options.
  4. Select Update.

General

Excel Spreadsheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Negative numbers are identified using multiple means, not just red font color.

  • Manual Check

Users who have difficulty distinguishing colors will not be able to tell the difference between positive and negative values.

    To add additional means:
  1. Locate the number.
  2. Ensure the cells are set to a Number format in the Number group of the Home tab (the default is usually General).
  3. Add the negative symbol to identify a negative number. (Red font color may be used as well as the parenthesis format as an indicator that the number is negative.)

The document is not corrupt (malformed).

  • Manual Check

Documents that are malformed cannot be opened and viewed by many or even most people. While some technologies might be able to deal with some malformed documents, there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to view the document or that the formatting and content will be as intended.

    If you can open the file on your computer:
  1. Copy and paste the content in a new spreadsheet.
  2. Save the new document.

If you do not have the original source document or cannot open the file: You may not be able to fix this problem.

All sheet tabs have unique names, and blank sheets are deleted.

  • Manual Check

Sheets in the workbook should include a descriptive title. Blank sheets should be deleted.

Screen readers read sheet names, which provides information about what is found on the worksheet. Descriptive sheet names, such as "October sales totals," make it easier to understand the contents of and navigate through workbooks.

    To rename sheet tabs:
  1. Right-click on sheet tab and select Rename.
  2. Type a brief, unique, descriptive name.
  3. Press Enter on the keyboard.
    To delete sheet tabs:
  1. Right-click a sheet tab and select Delete.
  2. Select Delete.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid the use of font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

    To edit the font type or size:
  1. From the Font menu, select an appropriate font type.
  2. From the Font Size menu, select 12 or larger.

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Manual Check

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To review or set the document language:
  1. Select File.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select Language.
  4. Make sure the appropriate language is set as the default for Editing, Display and Help Language.

Spreadsheet has a simple structure.

  • Excel Accessibility Checker

Users rely on simple spreadsheet structures to navigate via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies.

Spreadsheets should have a simple, two-dimensional structure so that they can be easily navigated and understood. This means there should be no merged cells, or nesting tables within another table as they can change the reading order of the spreadsheet.

    To remove merged cells:
  1. Select the merged cell.
  2. Split the merged cell by selecting the Merge & Center button in the Alignment group of the Home tab. (This is an "on/off" button so clicking it will remove the merging format.)

Images

Excel Spreadsheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Excel Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on the image. (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Format Picture/Object/Chart.
  3. Under the Size & Properties icon, expand the Alt Text pane.
  4. Enter alternative text in the Description field.
    Note: The Title field can be left empty.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

Excel Spreadsheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Tables specify column header information.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

When tables are created in Excel, users have the option of using the first row as a header row by selecting the "My table has headers" option. If you choose not to use your own headers, Excel will add default header names, like Column1, Column2 and so on, but they will need to be renamed to be descriptive.

To identify a header row:

  1. From the Insert tab, select Table.
  2. In the text field, identify the cells where the data is located.
  3. Select the My table has headers option.
  4. Select Ok.
    To add descriptive headers to a table:
  1. Click on the cell.
  2. Type a new, descriptive column header name to replace the default name.

Alternative Text (alt text) is provided for cells formatted as tables.

  • Excel Accessibility Checker

The same way alt text can convey the meaning of an image, the alt text in a table provides screen reader users a summary of information that sighted users get when quickly browsing a table.

    To add alternative text:
  1. Right-click on the table, and select Table.
  2. Select Alternative Text.
  3. Type a description of the table into the Description text box.

Form Fields

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Remove underlined blank space for student responses.

  • Manual Check

Using a form field will indicate to both sighted and non-sighted users that an answer should be written in.

    Underlined blanks, used to indicate to sighted students that an answer should be written in, should be:
  • Removed and created using proper form fields in Microsoft Word.
    or
  • Removed and replaced with a few blank rows in which students can type response(s).

If desired, see the Word Document, Form Fields section for information on creating proper form fields.

Formulas and Equations

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Formulas and Equations are created using MathType.
(*in Microsoft Word).

*It is recommended that Formulas and Equations are created using MathType. in Microsoft Word.

  • Manual Check

MathType is an add-on that allows users access to an interactive equation editor. Equations created with MathType are more accessible to screen reading users.

For MathType formulas and equations, alternative text is not required. Even though the MS Office Accessibility Checker will flag them as needing alt text this error can be ignored.

Generally, if a symbol can be typed using the keyboard, it should be readable by a screen reader. For example, %, +, etc.

    To open a Google Doc in Microsoft Word:
  1. Select File.
  2. Expand the Download Menu, then select Microsoft Word.
  3. Select to Open or Save As, then select Ok.
  4. In MS Word, use the MathType interactive equation editor to create formulas and equations.

MathType is available by request from the Help Desk.

Exponents are created using the exponents tool in MathType.

*It is recommended that formulas and equations are created using MathType in Microsoft Word.

  • Manual Check

Screen readers cannot differentiate between super-script, sub-script and other numbers. For an exponent to be read correctly, MathType must be used.

    To open a Google Doc in Microsoft Word:
  • Select File.
  • Expand the Download Menu, then select Microsoft Word.
  • Select to Open or Save As, then select Ok.
  • In MS Word, use the MathType interactive equation editor to create formulas and equations.

General

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Document has a proper title.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

The title of a document identifies the content of the document. Titles are important because they distinguish documents from one another and identify the focus of the document.

    To add or edit the title:
  1. Select File.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Enter a title, OR edit the existing title.
  4. Select enter on the keyboard, OR click out of the area to save the new title.

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To set or verify the language:
  1. Select File.
  2. Expand the Language menu.
  3. Review the Current Setting, OR select the appropriate language.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid using font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a hyperlink:
  1. Copy the URL (web address) you wish to use.
  2. In the Google Doc, highlight the text you wish to make a hyperlink.
  3. Right-click on the highlighted text, then select Link.
  4. Paste the URL into the text field.
  5. Select Apply.

Multiple elements (i.e. color, underline, italics, etc.) are used to illustrate meaning.

  • Manual Check

Color should not be used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. If color is used to illustrate a concept, be sure to provide alternative means of obtaining the same information or provide an explanation within the text itself.

For example, color alone should not be used to distinguish hyperlinks from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.

Add additional elements to items in which meaning is illustrated through color alone. This could include underlining, adding a note at the top of the document explaining that correct answers are underlined.

Keep in mind that color can be used with additional elements, as long as the contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text is present.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

    To edit the font type or size:
  1. From the Font menu, select an appropriate font type.
  2. From the Font Size menu, select 12 or larger.

Use proper ordered/unordered list structures.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Hand-created lists cannot be read properly by screen readers because a proper list structure is needed to inform users that a list is present.

    Lists convey a hierarchical content structure to screen reader users.
  • Unordered lists (bullet points) are used when list items can be arranged randomly.
  • Ordered lists (numbered or lettered) are used when a sequential order is important.

To add an ordered or unordered list structure:
Use the built-in bullet or numbering tools to create a list structure.

  1. Highlight the list items.
  2. Select either the bullet icon or the numbering icon.

Note: Some re-formatting may be required.


Headings

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Document uses headings, and follows a logical structure.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Sighted users rely on text size and bold to identify different sections, properly coding those as headings allows screen reading users to do the same.

Headings are important as they provide structure to a document, especially those that consist of many pages. When proper headings are used, the document becomes much easier to understand and navigate for all users.

Headings should be hierarchical, starting at heading level 1 for the title of the document, then heading level 2 for the sections of the document, then heading level 3 for subsections, and so on. Heading levels should not be skipped.

A Table of Contents is recommended for documents 20 pages or longer.

    To review or identify headings:
  1. Highlight the heading text.
  2. From the Styles drop-down menu, select the appropriate heading level.
    1. If reviewing, verify that heading levels are correct and follow a logical structure.
  3. If desired, edit the Heading Style font, font size, font color, etc.

The headings begin at level 1.

  • Manual Check

Document headings should always begin with Heading 1 or Level 1. For most documents, the title of the document should be Heading 1 or Level 1. Documents should only have one Heading 1 identified.

    To review or identify a Heading 1:
  1. Highlight the title of the document.
  2. From the Styles drop-down menu, select Heading 1 to set the heading level.
    1. If reviewing, verify that Heading 1 is selected.
  3. If desired, edit the Heading Style Font, font size, font color, etc.

The heading structure is six levels or less.

  • Manual Check

When heading elements are correctly applied, they provide the same type of efficient navigation to individuals with visual disabilities. Proper heading elements allow screen reading technologies to quickly identify the headings on the page. In general, headings should not go beyond six levels.

    To review heading levels:
  1. Select the Show Document Outline icon, located in the top left-hand corner of the page.
  2. Review the heading structure.
  3. Make changes as needed.

Images

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on an image (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Alt Text.
  3. Enter text in the Description field (not the Title field).
  4. Select Ok.

Repeat this process for all images throughout the document/presentation.

Images or objects are inline with the text.

  • Manual Check

If the image or object is not positioned inline with the surrounding text, it may be difficult for screen reader users to interact with the object. It may also be difficult to know where the object is relative to the text.

    To check/change images/objects to inline:
  1. Select the image/object.
  2. On the pop-up menu, select or verify In Line is selected.

Images made of many parts are snipped into one single image and includes alternative text.

  • Manual Check

For images made up of many pieces, screen readers will read each individual piece of the image including lines and arrows, etc.

Making a snip or screenshot of the image will create a single image in which alternative text can be added for the image as a whole.

    To use the snipping tool:
  1. Search for Snipping Tool on the computers search bar.
  2. Use the snipping tool to create a single image.
  3. Save the new image and add it to the document.
  4. Delete the pieces that make up the older image.
  5. Add Alt text to the single image.

Contact the Center for Student Access: For complex diagrams, work with the Center for Student Access to create a tactile diagram as an accommodation. This may be the easiest way for the student to understand what is being represented.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

Google Docs Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

    To test the reading order:
  1. Place your cursor in the first cell of the table.
  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly to navigate through the table. This will be the reading order that assistive technologies will use.

This will be the reading order that assistive technologies will use.

Tables specify column header information.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

Note: Currently, there is not a way to identify header information in Google. Instead, users are encouraged to download and open the Google Sheet in MS Excel or MS Word to set the header row.

Table has a simple structure.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Tables should be built using the table tool with no split cells, merged cells, or nesting (table within another table). Users navigate tables via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies, which rely on simple table structures.

Blank spaces in tables to allow for completion are okay as long as the table is formatted as a table with headers.

    To remove split cells/ merged cells:
  1. Highlight the split or merged cells.
  2. Right-click to display the menu options.
  3. Select Unmerge or unsplit.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.

    Table is created using the table tool.
  • Avoid using tabs to mimic tables.
  • Manual Check

Table data or information must be presented using the table tool. Proper table markups will alert users that a table is present, including the number of rows and columns.

Mimicking tables by tabbing will not alert screen reader users that a table-like object is present.

    To create a table:
  1. Select Insert.
  2. Expand the Table menu.
  3. Select the number of rows and columns needed.
  4. Type or copy/paste the information into the table.
  5. Delete the tabbed information that is no longer needed.

General

Google Sheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Spreadsheet has a proper title.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

The title of a document identifies the content of the document. Titles are important because they distinguish documents from one another and identify the focus of the document.

    To add or edit the title:
  1. Select File.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Enter a title, OR edit the existing title.
  4. Select enter on the keyboard, OR click out of the area to save the new title.

All sheet tabs have unique names, and blank sheets are deleted.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Sheets in the workbook should include a descriptive title. Blank sheets should be deleted.

Screen readers read sheet names, which provides information about what is found on the worksheet. Descriptive sheet names, such as "October sales totals," make it easier to understand the contents of and navigate through workbooks.

    To rename a sheet:
  1. Right-click on the sheet name.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Type the new name.
  4. Select enter on the keyboard, OR click out of the tab to save the new name.
    To delete sheet tabs:
  1. Right-click on the sheet tab.
  2. Select Delete.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid the use of font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

Negative numbers are identified using multiple means, not just red font color.

  • Manual Check

Users who have difficulty distinguishing colors will not be able to tell the difference between positive and negative values.

    To Add Additional Means:
  1. Locate the number.
  2. Ensure the numbers are set to a Number format.
  3. Add the negative symbol to identify a negative number. Note: Red font color may be used as well as the parenthesis format as an indicator that the number is negative.

Spreadsheet has a simple structure.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Users rely on simple spreadsheet structures to navigate via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies.

Spreadsheets should have a simple, two-dimensional structure so that they can be easily navigated and understood. This means there should be no merged cells, or nesting tables within another table as they can change the reading order of the spreadsheet.

    To remove merged cells:
  1. Highlight the split or merged cells.
  2. Right-click to display the menu options.
  3. Select Unmerge or unsplit.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.


Images

Google Sheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on an image (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Alt Text.
  3. Enter text in the Description field (not the Title field).
  4. Select Ok.

Repeat this process for all images throughout the document/presentation.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

Google Sheets Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

    To test the reading order:
  1. Place your cursor in the first cell of the table.
  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly to navigate through the table.

This will be the reading order that assistive technologies will use.

Tables specify column header information.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

Note: Currently, there is not a way to identify header information in Google. Instead, users are encouraged to download and open the Google Sheet in MS Excel to set the header row.


General

Google Slides Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

A title is provided for the presentation.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

The title of a presentation identifies the content of the presentation. Titles are very important because they distinguish presentations from one another and identify the focus of the presentation.

    To add or edit the title:
  1. Select File.
  2. Select Rename.
  3. Enter a title, OR edit the existing title.
  4. Select enter on the keyboard, OR click out of the text field to save the new title.

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To set or verify the language:
  1. Select File.
  2. Expand the Language menu.
  3. Review the Current Setting, OR select the appropriate language.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a hyperlink:
  1. Copy the URL (web address) you wish to use.
  2. Highlight the text you wish to make a hyperlink.
  3. Right-click on the highlighted text, then select Link.
  4. Paste the URL into the text field.
  5. Select Apply.

Multiple elements (i.e. color, underline, italics, etc.) are used to illustrate meaning.

  • Manual Check

Color should not be used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. If color is used to illustrate a concept, be sure to provide alternative means of obtaining the same information or provide an explanation within the text itself.

For example, color alone should not be used to distinguish hyperlinks from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.

Add additional elements to items in which meaning is illustrated through color alone. This could include underlining, adding a note at the top of the document explaining that correct answers are underlined.

Keep in mind that color can be used with additional elements, as long as the contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text is present.

The reading order of the objects on a slide presentation is logical.

  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To review the reading order:
  1. Select a slide.
  2. Select the Tab button on your keyboard.
  3. Move through the objects on the slide using the tab button to verify the reading order is correct.
    To adjust the order:
  1. Select the element that you want to change.
  2. Select the Arrange menu, then select Order.
    Note: Send backward raises the object higher in the reading order. Bring forward makes the object lower in the reading order.
  3. Test reading order with the Tab key again.

You may need to experiment with object grouping in order to create a logical order.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid using font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.


Images

Google Slides Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Grackle (Free Add-On)
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on an image (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Alt Text.
  3. Enter text in the Description field (not the Title field).
  4. Select Ok.

Repeat this process for all images throughout the document/presentation.

Images made of many parts are snipped into one single image and includes alternative text.

  • Manual Check

For images made up of many pieces, screen readers will read each individual piece of the image including lines and arrows, etc.

Making a snip or screenshot of the image will create a single image in which alternative text can be added for the image as a whole.

    To use the snipping tool:
  1. Search for Snipping Tool on the computers search bar.
  2. Use the snipping tool to create a single image.
  3. Save the new image and add it to the document.
  4. Delete the pieces that make up the older image.
  5. Add Alt text to the single image.

Contact the Center for Student Access: For complex diagrams, work with the Center for Student Access to create a tactile diagram as an accommodation. This may be the easiest way for the student to understand what is being represented.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Slides

Google Slides Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

All slides have a title, and slide titles are unique.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Slide titles are presented as a heading to screen reader users, and will be the first thing read on each slide. Unique titles make it much easier for screen reader users to read and navigate a presentation.

Avoid the use of duplicated slide titles as this poses an accessibility issue for those navigating the document using screen reading technologies.

    To add a title to a slide: Note: Slide titles should be added using the built-in layout options for the chosen presentation theme. .
  1. Select the slide that is in need of a title.
  2. Enter a title in the title field.
  3. If the title field is missing, select the Layout menu to select a different slide layout. Then enter the title.

Tables

Google Slides Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

    To test the reading order:
  1. Place your cursor in the first cell of the table.
  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly to navigate through the table. This will be the reading order that assistive technologies will use.

This will be the reading order that assistive technologies will use.

Table has a simple structure.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Tables should be built using the table tool with no split cells, merged cells, or nesting (table within another table). Users navigate tables via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies, which rely on simple table structures.

Blank spaces in tables to allow for completion are okay as long as the table is formatted as a table with headers.

    To remove split cells/, merged cells:
  1. Highlight the split or merged cells.
  2. Right-click to display the menu options.
  3. Select Unmerge or unsplit.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.

Tables specify column header information.

  • Grackle (Free Add-On)

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

Note: Currently, there is not a way to identify header information in Google. Instead, users are encouraged to download and open the Google Sheet in MS Excel or MS Word to set the header row.

General

Multimedia (Audio and Video) Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Accurate closed captions are included for video files.

  • Manual Check

Without closed captioning, the information in a video segment may be entirely lost to people with disabilities.

For video files to be accessible, they must include accurate closed captioning for video files. Closed captioning should be synchronized with the timing of the video.

Captions should be edited to 100% accuracy to meet ADA guidelines.

Note: Auto-generated captions are generally not accurate enough to meet ADA guidelines. It is recommended to review video captions for accuracy before incorporating into course(s) or presentations.

    For videos created using Kaltura:
  1. Either record or upload a video file into Kaltura.
  2. Request closed captions using the closed caption feature.
  3. Edit closed captions, as needed.

For YouTube videos you do own:
Use YouTube's captioning tool to caption videos. The auto-generated captions are not accurate enough to meet accessibility guidelines; therefore, captions will need to be reviewed and edited.

For YouTube videos you do not own:
Try reaching out to the video owner to see if they will provide accurate captions. If you are unable to reach them, or they are unwilling to assist, you will need to use a different video.

    For video/audio files from Publishers:
  1. Begin by contacting your Publisher Rep to inquire about an accessible video file that includes closed captioning.
  2. If the Publisher Rep is unable to assist, either:
    • Select a different video file that includes closed captioning.
    • Use a captioning service to caption the video, if possible.

Accurate transcripts are included for audio files.

  • Manual Check

Without a transcript, the information in an audio segment may be entirely lost to people with disabilities.

For audio files to be accessible, they must include an accurate transcript. Audio files may include a podcast, MP3, etc. Transcripts can added as an additional attached file or as a link if there is an existing resource.

Text transcripts should be 100% accurate to meet ADA guidelines.

To create a transcript:

Method 1: Hand type a script for the audio file.

Method 2: Use Kaltura to either record or upload an audio file, then request captions using the closed caption feature.

  1. From within the video, select Actions.
  2. Select Edit, then from the Attachments tab.
  3. Select to download the .txt file.
  4. Use the .txt file to create a transcript.
  5. Upload the saved file to a location where it is accessible to users.

Audio and/or video files are not set to autoplay and do not loop.

  • Manual Check

Autoplay is problematic for users using screen readers, as screen readers read the text on the page aloud; having an audio/video file autoplay can cause both the video and screen reader to play at the same time.

For Kaltura videos: Kaltura video and audio files automatically enable user control that does not allow looping or auto-play.

For YouTube videos: Autoplay is viewer controlled and can be turned off by doing either of the following:

  • Switch the AUTOPLAY toggle button, located in the upper right corner, to "off" so that it changes from blue to gray.
  • Select the gear icon at the bottom of the video player to access the settings, and then toggle the Autoplay setting to "off" so that it changes from white to gray.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Do not use blinking or flashing media. Use a different media file or image.


Form Fields

PDF Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Remove underlined blank space for student responses.

  • Manual Check

Using a form field will indicate to both sighted and non-sighted users that an answer should be written in.

    Underlined blanks, used to indicate to sighted students that an answer should be written in, should be:
  • Removed and created using proper form fields in Microsoft Word.
    or
  • Removed and replaced with a few blank rows in which students can type response(s).
    Use the Prepare Form tool to create form fields:
  1. Select the Prepare Form tool.
  2. Select Start when prompted.
  3. Acrobat will scan the document and insert form fields and apply names to them where it can.
    To manually add form fields using the Prepare Form tool:
  1. Select the type of field you would like from the top of the screen.
  2. Select where you would like the field.
  3. Give it a unique name.
  4. Double-click on the field and enter the unique name in the Tooltip field.

This will allow users of assistive technology to understand what they are expected to put into each field.

Make sure to double check the tab order when you are done. If something reads out of order, you can adjust it by dragging the field to the correct order in the Fields portion of the Prepare Form menu.

The tab order and read order are logical and intuitive.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Manual Check

Movement through a form should follow logical order. Those who are navigating by keyboard expect to move sequentially from left to right and top to bottom through the elements on the page.

    To check Tab order:
  1. Click on the first form field.
  2. Select the Tab key.
  3. Observe the order as each field is selected.

If the tab order is incorrect, you can fix it by selecting the Prepare Form tool and dragging form fields into the correct order in the Fields section of the Prepare Form pane.

    To check Reading order using the Reading Order Tool:
  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Select Reading Order.
  4. Check the Page content order radio button.
  5. Uncheck box by Display like elements in a single block checkbox is unchecked.

Each element will have a number in the top left corner; this is the reading order.

If the reading order is incorrect, click on Show Order Panel from the Reading Order window and drag elements into the correct order.

If text is not recognized as an element, you can manually select it by left-clicking and dragging over the text and selecting the proper element type from the Reading Order window.

Form fields within a document have appropriately coded tags with the correct labels, markup and prompts.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker

Since those using screen readers do not have access to the same visual cues that the sighted follow, labels and prompts must be accurate and explicitly associated with form field within the code or script.

To add labels to a form field, use the Prepare Form tool. Start by clicking on Tools > Prepare Form to enter the editing interface. Double-click on the form field and make sure that the text in the Tooltip field is unique and descriptive. Text should tell the user in just a few words what information they are expected to enter into that field.


General

PDF Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

The document is not corrupt (malformed).

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Documents that are malformed cannot be opened and viewed by many or even most people. While some technologies might be able to deal with some malformed documents, there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to view the document or that the formatting and content will be as intended.

    If you can open the file on your computer:
  1. Copy and paste the content in a new document.
  2. Save the new document.

If you do not have the original source document or cannot open the file: You may not be able to fix this problem.

Scanned PDFs have been OCRed (optical character recognition).

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

Documents that are either entirely scanned or contain pages that are scanned mean it is an image of a document, and the text cannot be accessed by screen reading technologies.

Scanned documents, especially those of poor quality or those containing handwriting, can be difficult to read for everyone. They also have other usability issues such as not being able to search within the document.

Digitizing printed text through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) allows users and screen reading technologies to extract and search text inside the document.

Adobe Acrobat Pro can be used to OCR a PDF by converting the scanned image to text.

Using Adobe Acrobat Pro for OCR:

    Using Adobe Acrobat Pro to OCR a PDF:
  1. In Acrobat Pro, under Tools, select Enhance Scan.
  2. Select the Enhance menu, followed by Scanned Document.
  3. Make sure Recognize Text is selected, then select Enhance.

The higher quality the scan, the more accurate the conversion will be.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, use Ally in D2L. Next to the file in D2L, select the Alternative formats menu to download an OCRed PDF.

Please note: The OCRed PDF will still need further reviewing to ensure accessibility.

The PDF has a title.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

PDF titles are used as the document title for a PDF window or tab, making it easier to navigate to the PDF and understand the purpose of the PDF. Often the default is the file name which may not be meaningful/descriptive.

    To review or add a title:
  1. In the PDF viewer, select File, then Properties.
  2. Type a meaningful and descriptive title in the Title field, or review the existing title.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Manual Check
  • Ally in D2L

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

If you have the source document in Word: start there by changing the font color to improve contrast.

If do not have the source document but have Adobe Acrobat Pro: use the Enhance Scans tool to improve contrast by selecting Tools, Enhance Scans, Enhance menu, Scanned Document, Enhance.

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you may be able to change the contrast with a program like Photoshop.

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To set or review the language:
  1. With your file open in Adobe Acrobat, select File.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the Advanced tab, and then from the Language drop-down menu, select the language.

The PDF is accurately tagged.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

PDF tags are hidden labels that clarify the structure of the document and define text as a heading, paragraph, table, list, etc. Without these tags, PDF documents are difficult to distinguish words that can be hard to navigate and understand for people with screen readers or other assistive devices.

If you have the source file, it is much easier to add headings in Word and save the document as a PDF.

    If you do not have the source file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Pro to fix this problem.
  1. Open the Accessibility tool by selecting Tools, then Accessibility.
  2. Select Autotag Document, then Tags.
  3. Review the tags to ensure they are in logical order. Always choose "Heading 1" (<H1>) for the document title, "Heading 2" (<H2>) for section headings, "Heading 3" (<H3>) for subsection headings, etc. "Paragraph" (<P>) is used for paragraph text.
  4. If there are errors in the tags, double click on them to change the heading level.
  5. Once elements are tagged correctly, use the Reading Order tool to ensure each element will read in the proper order. You can do this by opening the Reading Order window (located in Tools > Accessibility > Reading Order), selecting Show Order Panel, and dragging the elements into the proper order.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

If you have a source file available, return to that file, make changes to font and font size, and re-export to PDF.

    If you do not have a source file available:
  1. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, select the Edit PDF tool.
  2. Select the block of text you would like to change, and adjust the font and size in the Format section.
  3. Repeat for all blocks of text throughout the document.

Non-essential elements are flagged as background/artifact.

  • Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker

PDFs can sometimes include elements that are not pertinent to the content of the document or are essentially visual noise. This often happens with scanned documents: things like the holes of a three-hole punched sheet of paper are recognized as images. Flagging non-relevant elements as background/artifact allows screen reading technologies to skip over these elements.

    To flag non-essential elements:
  1. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, open the Reading Order tool (Tools > Accessibility > Reading Order).
  2. Highlight the element, and select Background/Artifact from the Reading Order window.
  3. Repeat for all non-essential elements.

Headings

PDF Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Document uses headings, and follows a logical structure.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Sighted users rely on text size and bold to identify different sections, properly coding those as headings allows screen reading users to do the same.

Headings are important as they provide structure to a document, especially those that consist of many pages. When proper headings are used, the document becomes much easier to understand and navigate for all users.

Headings should be hierarchical, starting at heading level 1 for the title of the document, then heading level 2 for the sections of the document, then heading level 3 for subsections, and so on. Heading levels should not be skipped.

A Table of Contents is recommended for documents 20 pages or longer.

If you have the source file: Use Word to fix the headings. In Word, click through the headings of the document to uncover any skipped heading levels (e.g. going from heading level 2 to heading level 4).

    If you do not have the source file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Pro to alter the document tags.
  1. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, open the Tags Pane by selecting View, Show/Hide menu, Navigation Panes menu, Tags.
  2. Review the tag tree and check the heading levels (H1 = heading level 1, H2 = heading level 2, etc.). You can double click on the tag to change the heading.

Example Tag Structure for PDFs:

<H1>
  <P>
  <H2>
    <P>
    <H4> (change to H3)
      <P>

Normal body text should be tagged with <P>.

The headings begin at level 1.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Document headings should always begin with Heading 1 or Level 1. For most documents, the title of the document should be Heading 1 or Level 1. Documents should only have one Heading 1 identified.

To review or identify headings:

    Using the Tags pane:
  1. Opening the Tags Pane by selecting View.
  2. Select Show/Hide menu.
  3. Select Navigation Panes menu.
  4. Select Tags.
    Using the Reading Order Tool:
  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Select Reading Order.
  4. Check the Show page content groups checkbox if it is not checked.
  5. Select the Structure types option just below it.

This will show all the individual elements in the document and how they are tagged (H1 for Heading 1, P for Text/Paragraph, etc.).

    To change the heading level of an element:
  1. Double-click to select it.
  2. Change to the correct heading using the buttons on the Reading Order window.

The heading structure is six levels or less.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

When heading elements are correctly applied, they provide the same type of efficient navigation to individuals with visual disabilities. Proper heading elements allow screen reading technologies to quickly identify the headings on the page. In general, headings should not go beyond six levels.

To review heading levels:

    Using the Tags pane:
  1. Opening the Tags Pane by selecting View.
  2. Select Show/Hide menu.
  3. Select Navigation Panes menu.
  4. Select Tags.
    Using the Reading Order Tool:
  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Select Reading Order.
  4. Check the Show page content groups checkbox if it is not checked.
  5. Select the Structure types option just below it.

This will show all the individual elements in the document and how they are tagged (H1 for Heading 1, P for Text/Paragraph, etc.).

For the vast majority of documents, headings beyond level three are not necessary. Make sure to use H1 for the title, H2 for each major section, and H3 for subsections within major sections.


Images

PDF Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

If you have the source document, use Word to add alternative text to the document images.

  1. Right-click on the image (Shift + F10).
  2. Select Format Picture, under Layout and Properties open the Alt Text pane.
  3. Enter text in the Description field (not the Title field).

If you do not have the source document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Pro to add alt text to the images.

  1. In Acrobat Pro, go to Tools.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. From the Accessibility toolbar, select Set Alternate Text. You will be taken from image to image and can add alt text or mark the image as decorative.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

To adjust the contrast of an image:

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

To specify column header information: In Adobe Acrobat Pro, use the Reading Order tool (Tools > Accessibility > Reading Order) to ensure that the table is tagged as a table and includes all information.

  1. Right-click on the table element and select Table Editor.
  2. Right-click on the cell you would like to designate as a header and select Table Cell Properties.
  3. In the Table Cell Properties window, select Header Cell from the type menu and Column from the Scope menu.
  4. Repeat for all cells in the header row.

Tables

PDF Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Tables specify column header information.

  • Adobe Accessibility Checker
  • Ally in D2L

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

To specify column header information:

    In Adobe Acrobat Pro, use the Reading Order Tool (Tools > Accessibility > Reading Order) to ensure that the table is tagged as a table and includes all information.
  1. Right-click on the table element and select Table Editor.
  2. Right-click on the cell you would like to designate as a header and select Table Cell Properties.
  3. In the Table Cell Properties window, select Header Cell from the type menu and Column from the Scope menu.
  4. Repeat for all cells in the header row.

Table has a simple structure.

  • Manual Check

Tables should be built using the table tool with no split cells, merged cells, or nesting (table within another table). Users navigate tables via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies, which rely on simple table structures.

Blank spaces in tables to allow for completion are okay as long as the table is formatted as a table with headers.

To remove split Cells, merged cells: Return to the source document to eliminate split, merged, and nested cells.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.


Formulas and Equations

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Formulas and Equations are created using MathType.

  • Manual Check

MathType is an add-on that allows users access to an interactive equation editor. Equations created with MathType are more accessible to screen reading users.

For MathType formulas and equations, alternative text is not required. Even though the MS Office Accessibility Checker will flag them as needing alt text this error can be ignored.

Generally, if a symbol can be typed using the keyboard, it should be readable by a screen reader. For example, %, +, etc.

Create formulas and equations using the MathType interactive equation editor. Alternative text does not need to be added.

MathType is available for staff and faculty by request from the Help Desk.

Exponents are created using the exponents tool in MathType.

  • Manual Check

Screen readers cannot differentiate between super-script, sub-script and other numbers. For an exponent to be read correctly, MathType must be used.

    To add a simple exponent in MathType:
  1. Select the MathType tab.
  2. Select Open Math Input Panel.
  3. Write the number using the mouse. It will be converted to MathType.

For more complicated formulas, click on Display for the MathType Equation dialog box.


General

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

The document is not corrupt (malformed).

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Documents that are malformed cannot be opened and viewed by many or even most people. While some technologies might be able to deal with some malformed documents, there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to view the document or that the formatting and content will be as intended.

    If you can open the file on your computer:
  1. Copy and paste the content in a new presentation file.
  2. Save the new document.

If you do not have the original source document or cannot open the file: You may not be able to fix this problem.

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To review or set the document language:
  1. Select the Review tab.
  2. Select Language.
  3. Select Set Proofing Language.
  4. Select the appropriate document language.

All slides have a title, and slide titles are unique.

  • PowerPoint Accessibility Checker

Slide titles are presented as a heading to screen reader users, and will be the first thing read on each slide. Unique titles make it much easier for screen reader users to read and navigate a presentation.

Avoid the use of duplicated slide titles as this poses an accessibility issue for those navigating the document using screen reading technologies.

If needed, slide titles can be hidden on the slide, but will remain visible in Outline View allowing for usability by screen readers.

To avoid duplicated slides titles: Add additional text to the title such as Part 1, Part 2.

    To hide a slide title:
  1. Select the Home tab.
  2. Select Arrange.
  3. Select Selection Pane.
  4. Within the Selection Pane window, select the eye icon next to the title to turn off visibility for this object.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid the use of font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

The reading order of the objects on a slide presentation is logical.

  • Manual Check

Screen reading technologies read the items on each slide in the specified order. Occasionally, the reading order is incorrect. If the reading order is not logical, the content being presented will not make sense.

    To review or change the reading order:
  1. Select the Home tab.
  2. Select Arrange.
  3. Select Selection Pane.
  4. View the Selection Pane to review the reading order.
  5. Use the up and down arrows to reorder objects, as needed.

Note: The reading orders should be as follows:

  • For Mac Users: The correct reading order should read from top to bottom.
  • For PC Users: The correct reading order should read from bottom to top.

Multiple elements (i.e. color, underline, italics, etc.) are used to illustrate meaning.

  • Manual Check

Color should not be used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. If color is used to illustrate a concept, be sure to provide alternative means of obtaining the same information or provide an explanation within the text itself.

For example, color alone should not be used to distinguish hyperlinks from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.

Add additional elements to items in which meaning is illustrated through color alone. This could include underlining, adding a note at the top of the document explaining that correct answers are underlined.

Keep in mind that color can be used with additional elements, as long as the contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text is present.

Real text is used (not graphical text, such as Word Art).

  • Manual Check

Graphical text may not be readable by screen readers and should be avoided in the body of text.

Do not use graphical text.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

    To edit the font type or size:
  1. From the Font menu, select an appropriate font type.
  2. From the Font Size menu, select 12 or larger.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Manual Check

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a hyperlink:
  1. Copy the URL (web address) you wish to use.
  2. In the slide, select the text you wish to make a hyperlink.
  3. Right-click on the highlighted text, select Hyperlink from the options.
  4. Paste the URL (web address) into the Address bar.
  5. Select Ok.

Images

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check
  • PowerPoint Accessibility Checker

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on the image (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Format Picture/Object/Chart.
  3. Under the Size & Properties icon, expand the Alt Text pane.
  4. Enter alternative text in the Description field.
    Note: The Title field can be left empty.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.

Images made of many parts are snipped into one single image and includes alternative text.

  • Manual Check

For images made up of many pieces, screen readers will read each individual piece of the image including lines and arrows, etc.

Making a snip or screenshot of the image will create a single image in which alternative text can be added for the image as a whole.

    To use the snipping tool:
  1. Search for Snipping Tool on the computers search bar.
  2. Use the snipping tool to create a single image.
  3. Save the new image and add it to the document.
  4. Delete the pieces that make up the older image.
  5. Add Alt text to the single image.

Contact the Center for Student Access: For complex diagrams, work with the Center for Student Access to create a tactile diagram as an accommodation. This may be the easiest way for the student to understand what is being represented.


Multi-Media

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Accurate closed captions/transcripts are included for inserted audio and video.

  • Manual Check

Without a transcript or closed captioning, the information in a video or audio segment may be entirely lost to people with disabilities.

    For audio and video files to be accessible, they must include:
  • Accurate transcript for audio files (such as a podcast). Transcripts can be added as an additional attached file or as a link if there is an existing resource.
  • Accurate closed captioning for video files. Closed captioning should be synchronized with the timing of the video.
    For videos created using Kaltura:
  1. Either record or upload a video file into Kaltura.
  2. Request closed captions using the closed caption feature.
  3. Edit closed captions, as needed.

For YouTube videos you do own: Use YouTube's captioning tool to caption videos. The auto-generated captions are not accurate enough to meet accessibility guidelines; therefore, captions will need to be reviewed and edited.

For YouTube videos you do not own: Try reaching out to the video owner to see if they will provide accurate captions. If you are unable to reach them, or they are unwilling to assist, you will need to use a different video.

    For video/audio files from Publishers:
  1. Begin by contacting your Publisher Rep to inquire about an accessible audio/video file that includes a transcript or closed captioning.
  2. If the Publisher Rep is unable to assist, either:
    • Select a different audio/video file that includes a transcript or closed captioning.
    • Create a transcript for the audio file and/or use a captioning service to caption the video, if possible.

Tables

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Tables specify column header information.

  • Ally in D2L
  • PowerPoint Accessibility Checker

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

    To specify a table header:
  1. Click on the table row that contains the headers.
  2. Right-click (Shift + F10) to display the menu options, select Table Properties.
  3. Under Row tab, select Repeat as header row at the top of each page.

Table has a simple structure.

  • Manual Check
  • PowerPoint Accessibility Checker

Tables should be built using the table tool with no split cells, merged cells, or nesting (table within another table). Users navigate tables via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies, which rely on simple table structures.

Blank spaces in tables to allow for completion are okay as long as the table is formatted as a table with headers.

    To remove split cells/ merged cells:
  1. Place the mouse cursor in the first cell to be changed.
  2. Right-click and select either Merge (to correct split cells) or Split Cells (to correct merged cells).

Some reformatting may be needed.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.


Accessibility Checker Exceptions - MathType

PowerPoint Presentations Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Alternative Text (alt text) for MathType Equations

  • PowerPoint Accessibility Checker

This warning can be ignored.

Alternative text is not required for equations created using MathType.

Greek Letters in Italics

  • Manual Check
    To Turn Off Italics for Greek Letters:
  1. Select Styles.
  2. Select Define.
  3. Locate the box selected that says "Italic lower case Greek." and unselect it.

This will ensure Greek letters will not be italicized.

Symbols on the Keyboard

  • Manual Check

Generally, if a symbol can be typed using the keyboard, it should read okay. For example, %, +, etc.

Arrows

  • Manual Check

Use MathType to create arrows in chemical equations.


Form Fields

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Remove underlined blank space for student responses.

  • Manual Check

Using a form field will indicate to both sighted and non-sighted users that an answer should be written in.

    Underlined blanks, used to indicate to sighted students that an answer should be written in, should be:
  • Removed and created using proper form fields in Microsoft Word.
    or
  • Removed and replaced with a few blank rows in which students can type response(s).

To create a form field: Use the Developer Tab to create form fields.

    If the Developer Tab is not present:
  1. Click on the File Tab.
  2. Select Options, then Customize Ribbon.
  3. Select Main Tabs from the drop-down menu below Customize Ribbon.
  4. Place a checkmark next to Developer.
  5. Select Ok.
    To add a form field:
  1. Select the Developer Tab, then select Design Mode.
  2. Select a Content Control from the options present. (The Rich Text Content Control can be used in place of an underlined blank.)

Form fields within a document have appropriately coded tags with the correct labels, markup and prompts.

  • Manual Check

Since those using screen readers do not have access to the same visual cues that the sighted follow, labels and prompts must be accurate and explicitly associated with form field within the code or script.

    To tag a form field:
  1. From the Developer Tab on the Toolbar, select Design Mode.
  2. Right-click in the Content Control.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Enter text to the Tag text field? (Required).
  5. Select Ok.

Formulas and Equations

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Formulas and Equations are created using MathType..

  • Manual Check

MathType is an add-on that allows users access to an interactive equation editor. Equations created with MathType are more accessible to screen reading users.

For MathType formulas and equations, alternative text is not required. Even though the MS Office Accessibility Checker will flag them as needing alt text this error can be ignored.

Generally, if a symbol can be typed using the keyboard, it should be readable by a screen reader. For example, %, +, etc.

Create formulas and equations using the MathType interactive equation editor. Alternative text does not need to be added.

MathType is available for staff and faculty by request from the Help Desk.

Exponents are created using the exponents tool in MathType.

  • Manual Check

Screen readers cannot differentiate between super-script, sub-script and other numbers. For an exponent to be read correctly, MathType must be used.

    To add a simple exponent in MathType:
  1. Select the MathType tab.
  2. Select Open Math Input Panel.
  3. Write the number using the mouse. It will be converted to MathType.

For more complicated formulas, click on Display for the MathType Equation dialog box.


General

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Document has a set language*, and the set language is correct.

*Note: The default language is English.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Documents should specify the language in which it has been created. Screen reading technologies rely on the specified language to determine how to pronounce the document text.

    To review or set the document language:
  1. Select the Review tab.
  2. Select Language.
  3. Select Set Proofing Language.
  4. Select the appropriate document language.

Sufficient contrast between text and background is present.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

People with low vision, poor vision, or color blindness often find it hard to read text that does not contrast with the background.

Colors of the text and background must be different enough to make the text easy to see. A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text should be present.

    To edit text font color:
  1. Select the text.
  2. Use the font color menu to change light font colors to a darker shade.

Avoid using font colors such as pink, yellow and orange.

    If using headings modify the style to save time:
  1. Expand the box in the Styles pane.
  2. Right-click on the heading level and select Modify.
  3. Select Format and adjust the color in the Font tab.

The document is not corrupt (malformed).

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Documents that are malformed cannot be opened and viewed by many or even most people. While some technologies might be able to deal with some malformed documents, there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to view the document or that the formatting and content will be as intended.

    If you can open the file on your computer:
  1. Copy and paste the content in a new document.
  2. Save the new document.

If you do not have the original source document or cannot open the file: You may not be able to fix this problem.

Multiple elements (i.e. color, underline, italics, etc.) are used to illustrate meaning.

  • Manual Check

Color should not be used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. If color is used to illustrate a concept, be sure to provide alternative means of obtaining the same information or provide an explanation within the text itself.

For example, color alone should not be used to distinguish hyperlinks from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.

Add additional elements to items in which meaning is illustrated through color alone. This could include underlining, adding a note at the top of the document explaining that correct answers are underlined.

Keep in mind that color can be used with additional elements, as long as the contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text is present.

Real text is used (not graphical text, such as Word Art).

  • Manual Check

Graphical text may not be readable by screen readers and should be avoided in the body of text.

Do not use graphical text.

Font Type: Easily readable sans serif fonts (such as Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri) is used.

Font Size of at least 12 point (for printouts) is used.

  • Manual Check

Select a font that is easily legible to benefit all users. Basic, simple sans serif fonts, including Tahoma, Verdana, Arial or Calibri were developed specifically for use in electronic media. Sans serif fonts contain no extra decorations or flourishes, making them highly legible fonts.

Avoid the use of decorative or overly stylized fonts, which are often difficult to read even for users without visual impairments or reading disabilities.

    To edit the font type or size:
  1. From the Font menu, select an appropriate font type.
  2. From the Font Size menu, select 12 or larger.

Clear descriptions are used for hyperlinks that convey where the link goes.

  • Manual Check
  • Word Accessibility Checker

Screen reader users generate a list of links to assist in navigating a document; therefore, hyperlinks should be descriptive and clearly identify the target of the hyperlink. Redundant or ambiguous link text such as "More" is meaningless in this context. Use unique and descriptive hyperlink text, taking care to:

  • Avoid the use of the URL as the hyperlink.
  • Avoid phrases such as "Click Here", "More", or "Click for Details".
    Example:
  • Avoid using the webpage URL https://www.michigan.gov/som/ as the hyperlink text.
  • Instead, use a clear, concise descriptive text, such as: For more information, visit the State of Michigan website.

Note: For printed documents it is okay to add the URL after the description, for example:
For more information, visit the State of Michigan website (https://www.michigan.gov/som/).

    To add a hyperlink:
  1. Copy the URL (web address) you wish to use.
  2. In Word, select the text you wish to make a hyperlink.
  3. Right-click on the highlighted text, select Hyperlink from the options.
  4. Paste the URL (web address) into the Address bar.
  5. Select Ok.

Use proper ordered/unordered list structures.

  • Manual Check

Hand-created lists cannot be read properly by screen readers because a proper list structure is needed to inform users that a list is present.

    Lists convey a hierarchical content structure to screen reader users.
  • Unordered lists (bullet points) are used when list items can be arranged randomly.
  • Ordered lists (numbered or lettered) are used when a sequential order is important.
    To add an ordered or unordered list structure: Use the built-in bullet or numbering tools to create a list structure.
  1. Highlight the list items.
  2. Select either the bullet icon or the numbering icon.

Note: Some re-formatting may be required.


Headings

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Document uses headings, and follows a logical structure.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Sighted users rely on text size and bold to identify different sections, properly coding those as headings allows screen reading users to do the same.

Headings are important as they provide structure to a document, especially those that consist of many pages. When proper headings are used, the document becomes much easier to understand and navigate for all users.

Headings should be hierarchical, starting at heading level 1 for the title of the document, then heading level 2 for the sections of the document, then heading level 3 for subsections, and so on. Heading levels should not be skipped.

A Table of Contents is recommended for documents 20 pages or longer.

    To set headings:
  1. Select the text that should become a heading (document title, section titles).
  2. Under the Home tab in the Styles group, select the appropriate heading level. (If you do not see the heading level you are looking for, expand the Styles menu to browse the full list of styles.)
  3. Repeat these steps for all the text that should become headings.
    To review the heading structure:
  1. Select the View tab.
  2. Select the checkbox for Navigation Pane. This will allow you to view the documents heading structure.
  3. Check to see that the correct sections are nested under the parent sections by clicking through the headings of the document to uncover any skipped heading levels (e.g. going from heading level 2 to heading level 4).

The headings begin at level 1.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

Document headings should always begin with Heading 1 or Level 1. For most documents, the title of the document should be Heading 1 or Level 1. Documents should only have one Heading 1 identified.

    To change heading levels:
  1. Select the document title.
  2. From the Styles menu, select Heading 1.
  3. Make sure section titles begin at heading level 2, with sub-sections at heading level 3.

The heading structure is six levels or less.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check

When heading elements are correctly applied, they provide the same type of efficient navigation to individuals with visual disabilities. Proper heading elements allow screen reading technologies to quickly identify the headings on the page. In general, headings should not go beyond six levels.

    To review heading levels:
  1. Select the View tab.
  2. Select the checkbox for Navigation Pane. This will allow you to view the documents heading structure.

Images

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?
    Alternative text (alt text) is provided for all non-text content, including:
  • Images
  • Drawings
  • Elements (arrows, lines, etc.)
  • Charts
  • Ally in D2L
  • Manual Check
  • Word Accessibility Checker

Alternative text is a textual alternative for an image that makes it easier to connect the image to its context and allows users with visual impairments to perceive the image.

Screen readers speak the alternative text to describe images and other non-text content that users cannot see. Based on alt text, users can understand the purpose and meaning of the described content.

Decorative images should be identified as decorative. Images identified as decorative will be skipped over by screen readers so be purposeful when identifying images as decorative.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on the image (Shft + F10).
  2. Select Format Picture/Object/Chart.
  3. Under the Size & Properties icon, expand the Alt Text pane.
  4. Enter alternative text in the Description field.

    Note: The Title field can be left empty.

Images or objects are inline with the text.

  • Word Accessibility Checker

If the image or object is not positioned inline with the surrounding text, it may be difficult for screen reader users to interact with the object. It may also be difficult to know where the object is relative to the text.

    To set images/objects to inline:
  1. Right-click on the image/object.
  2. Select Wrap Text.
  3. Select Inline with Text.

Images made of many parts are snipped into one single image and includes alternative text.

  • Manual Check
  • Word Accessibility Checker

For images made up of many pieces, screen readers will read each individual piece of the image including lines and arrows, etc.

Making a snip or screenshot of the image will create a single image in which alternative text can be added for the image as a whole.

    To use the snipping tool:
  1. Search for "Snipping Tool" on the computers search bar.
  2. Use the snipping tool to create a single image.
  3. Save the new image and add it to the document.
  4. Delete the pieces that make up the older image.
  5. Add Alt text to the single image.

Contact the Center for Student Access: For complex diagrams, work with the Center for Student Access to create a tactile diagram as an accommodation. This may be the easiest way for the student to understand what is being represented.

Images do not have contrast issues.

  • Manual Check

Images that contain text with low contrast between the text and its background can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or color blindness.

To adjust the contrast of an image:

If you have access to an editing program, such as Photoshop: Upload the image into a program to increase the contrast.

    If you do not have access to an image editing program:
  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Insert the image to a slide.
  3. Under the Picture Format tab, adjust the contrast of the image in the Corrections dropdown menu.
  4. Right-click on the image to save it as a picture.

Images or other mutlimedia are not prone to induce seizures.

  • Manual Check

Animated images that contain flashing or contrasting lights or patterns can lead to seizures for people that suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. In addition, animated images with these characteristics can be generally unpleasant to look at, even for those not prone to seizures.

Find an alternative image. Do not use this image.


Tables

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Table layouts are structured for easy navigation and proper reading order.

  • Manual Check

Users rely on the table layout to navigate through the content. It must be ordered logically for users to understand and navigate the content.

It is important to ensure that the reading order of the table makes sense. Screen reader technologies read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time (no repeats).

    To test the reading order:
  1. Place your cursor in the first cell of the table.
  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly to navigate through the table.

This will be the reading order that assistive technologies follow.

Table has a simple structure.

  • Word Accessibility Checker

Tables should be built using the table tool with no split cells, merged cells, or nesting (table within another table). Users navigate tables via keyboard shortcuts and screen reading technologies, which rely on simple table structures.

Blank spaces in tables to allow for completion are okay as long as the table is formatted as a table with headers.

    To remove split cells/ merged cells:
  1. Place the mouse cursor in the first cell to be changed.
  2. Right-click and select either Merge (to correct split cells) or Split Cells (to correct merged cells).

Some reformatting may be needed.

Restructure nested items by: Reformatting the content into a simple format- bulleted list, numbered list, etc.

Tables specify column header information.

  • Ally in D2L
  • Word Accessibility Checker

Users rely on the table headings to understand the content that is subsequently read by the screen reader. Also, screen reading technologies often use the table header row to help convey to the user the current cursor location in the table and to provide information that enables the user to navigate the table.

Tables should not be used for layout purposes. If a table does not need headings (the top row or first column does not serve as a label for the data/info underneath/beside) then do not use a table.

    To specify a table header:
  1. Click on the table row that contains the headers.
  2. Right-click (Shift + F10) to display the menu options, select Table Properties.
  3. Under Row tab, select Repeat as header row at the top of each page.

Alternative text (alt text) is provided for tables.

  • Word Accessibility Checker

The same way alt text can convey the meaning of an image, the alt text in a table provides screen reader users a summary of information that sighted users get when quickly browsing a table.

    To add/edit/review alternative text:
  1. Right-click on the table and select Table Properties from the menu.
  2. Select the Alt Text tab, and then enter text explaining the contents of the table.
  3. Select Ok.
    Table is created using the table tool.
  • Avoid using tabs to mimic tables.
  • Manual Check

Table data or information must be presented using the table tool. Proper table markups will alert users that a table is present, including the number of rows and columns.

Mimicking tables by tabbing will not alert screen reader users that a table-like object is present.

    To create a table using the table tool:
  1. Create a table using the Table Tool by selecting Insert, then Table.
  2. Select the number of rows and columns needed.
  3. Type or copy/paste the information into the table.

Word Accessibility Checker Exceptions - General

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Repeated Blank Characters

  • Word Accessibility Checker

This warning can be ignored.

Blank characters are not inherently inaccessible, except when used to create the impression of layout or structure, such as faking a table or multi-level list. It is okay to leave blank spaces for writing or to format documents.

Infrequent Headings

  • Word Accessibility Checker

This warning can be ignored.

As long as the actual headings are noted, the content of the document does not need to be changed to add additional headings if they are not needed.

Handwriting for Math Solutions

  • Manual Check

Handwritten problems/solutions do not need to be created using MathType since they change each semester. Instead, these would require an accommodation through the Center for Student Access.


Word Accessibility Checker Exceptions - MathType

Word Documents Accessibility Rule Issue Detected By Why Fix This? How To Fix This?

Alternative Text (alt text) for MathType Equations

  • Word Accessibility Checker

This warning can be ignored.

Alternative text is not required for equations created using MathType.

Greek Letters in Italics

  • Manual Check
    To Turn Off Italics for Greek Letters:
  1. Select Styles.
  2. Select Define.
  3. Locate the box selected that says "Italic lower case Greek." and unselect it.

This will ensure Greek letters will not be italicized.

Symbols on the Keyboard

  • Manual Check

Generally, if a symbol can be typed using the keyboard, it should read okay. For example, %, +, etc.

Arrows

  • Manual Check

Use MathType to create arrows in chemical equations.


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