By Allie Dowd
Program Coordinator (Design And Implementation) at Focus EduVation

As online courses become more widely available, it is important that your online courses meet disability and accessibility standards so that all students have equal access to information in your courses. These standards are known as 508 Compliance Standards.

Add alternate text for screen readers

Alt tags, or alternate text, are descriptions and added information for images and graphics in your courses and on your websites. Screen readers that accommodate blind students can only convey information with text. So any information displayed in images, graphics, or screenshots needs to be conveyed to the student. Your alt tags should describe any contextual information a sighted student would receive by viewing the images/graphic.

Provide transcripts and captions for audio and video files

For students with hearing impairments, information through audio is difficult to absorb. By providing transcripts and captions, students can read the information along with the video and not miss anything significant. Be sure to include information that may be seen in the video such as the Name and Title of the speaker.

Improve color contrast and delete color coding

One of the easiest changes you can make for color-blind students is to stop identifying correct answers with green and incorrect answers with red on assessments. Instead, or in addition to, write out “That is correct/incorrect” or use icons such as a check mark (✔) and X ( ✘). You may also want to download Chrome’s Color Contrast Analyzer extension. Through this extension, you can analyze screenshots with different level of contrasting scrutiny.

To see an example of how Focus EduVation utilizes 508 compliance checks in their services, see this Case Study.