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General Guidance

The guidance here should be seen as best practice regardless of the type of content you are creating online, in this instance we'll be looking at Brightspace. Luckily Brightspace will make sure a lot of the elements in your module are in an accessible format however there are some key aspects you need to be aware of. If you are unclear of any of the guidance on this page you can ask for one of the Digital Learning Designers to explain it in more detail.

Finer technical details will be marked in RED and dealt with by a one of the Digital Learning Designers.
Tutorials on how to complete certain tasks are highlighted in GREEN.

General Guidance Checklist

WCAG specifications need to be adhered to and are mixed in with our own expectations of design/layout.

  • If the content you are creating is giving instruction or advice, this content needs to appear on the page as a topic rather than just a downloadable file.
    • Downloaded files can still be used as a supplementary resource but second to the content. A student could be using a PC in a public library or another shared device which doesn't allow downloading of files but still want's to view the information.
       
  • Use plain language avoiding metaphors or figures of speech. (WCAG - 3.1.2)
    • This is to make sure screen readers can understand the language being used. It is also useful for international or ESOL students who might not understand certain metaphors or colloquial expressions.

  • Documents need to be uploaded in an accessible format.
  • Make sure any images which depict information relating to the page topic must have ALT tags. (WCAG - 1.1.1)
    • ALT tags are important for visitors who have a visual impairment and might not be able to see the screen and/or image properly. The  tag can be read by a screen reader as an alternative way of delivering the information that the image is depicting. Visitors without visual impairments would not see the extra text. Brightspace will ask you for an image desciption when adding an image.
       
  • Decorative images still need empty ALT tags. (WCAG - 1.1.1)
    • ALT tags are important for visitors who have a visual impairment and might not be able to see the screen and/or image properly. The  tag can be read by a screen reader as an alternative way of delivering the information that the image is depicting. Visitors without visual impairments would not see the extra text. When you add an image from your computer into Brightspace, there is a box you can tick that allows you to add a decorative declaration automatically.
       
  • Provide a text alternative for complex images like charts and graphs in the actual content. (WCAG - 1.1.1)
    • Complex images can be hard to both display and/or adequately describe the image in an ALT tag. In these circumstances it's best to provide a plain language alternative to using the image.
       
  • Sign posting sentences at top guiding what the user needs to do.
    • This is an important element to make sure visitors always know where they are and what they are expected to do.
    • In Brightspace, this includes both topic and content overviews, as well as ensuring each page flows naturally from top level to more focused content.
       
  • Videos need transcripts.
    • If you have created or added a video to your content, all reasonable effort needs to be taken to make sure a transcript of the audio is also available to the user. Embedded YouTube normally offers this as part of the video however if it is a video of yourself a transcript will need to be provided. You can contact one of the Digital Learning Designers who can create a transcript for you however you will need to check and amend it for accuracy before uploading it as a PDF next to your video.