Creating Accessible Digital Content

The digital content in your course is required by law to be accessible to all students. It is important to make your content accessible to all students from the beginning to ensure equal access to the learning experience and success. All students can benefit from an inclusive learning environment. These resources contain information on making course content accessible.

WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 Requirements

We are required by law to make all online content accessible to all students. These web sites are helpful in understanding these requirements.

Creating Accessible Content Using Microsoft Office

This information contains guidelines for making content created within Microsoft Office accessible for all users. Please note that some of the accessibility tools within Microsoft Office are only available in the PC version of Microsoft Office.

Universal Design

The creation of accessible course content begins with universal design. The goal of universal design is to minimize barriers and maximize learning. Universal design addresses the "what", "how", and "why" of learning and gives all individuals equal opportunity to learn.

Free Tools to Caption Video

Free tools to caption video include YouTube, Amara and CADET. YouTube provides several different options for captioning video. The caption editor is available for videos that the user owns in YouTube. Amara is user-friendly and has many userful features. The primary benefit is that the user does not have to own the video or be the person who uploaded the video to create closed captions. CADET is free, downloadable caption-authoring software that enables anyone to produce high-quality caption files that are compatible with any media player that supports the display of captions. CADET does not require an internet connection in order to operate: it runs locally in any Web browser, so users do not need to upload private videos or proprietary content to servers or video-hosting sites in order to create captions.

Accessibility Checking Tools

These tools can be useful in making sure that your content is accessible. However, these are only tools and you still must carefully review your content to make sure that you have met the requirements outlined in WCAG 2.0 and Section 508. A WCAG 2.0 checklist is included below.

Accessibility Resource Web Sites

These web sites are great resources to utilize when creating accessible content. Penn State and Portland Community College have excellent accessibility web sites that contain extremely helpful information.