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Accessibility of online course content is an important part of following Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. Designing accessible courses provides educational opportunities for all students.

A significant number of people have disabilities that can make it difficult for them to access online course content. As faculty, we do not know who in our class may experience difficulty with online content. Therefore, ensuring content is accessible helps all students, even those without disabilities.

overall guidelines for more accessible text

Below are tools and recommendations for how you can make your course content more accessible on the Nest.


Alt Text For Images

Alt text's purpose is to describe images for those unable to see them. This includes screen readers and browsers that block images, but it also includes users who are sight-impaired or otherwise unable to visually identify an image.

When uploading an image onto an html document that is part of your instruction ... include a short description of the image in the alt text field.

alt text pop up window in the Nest

Descriptive Hyperlinks

The purpose of descriptive links is to provide users with the proper context of where clicking the link will take them. Screen reader users often navigate websites going from link to link, using the tab key (or shift-tab to go backwards), so providing links that make sense is vitally important and necessary.




Accessibility Check Tool

The accessibility checker in the Nest indicates if there are no issues, or offers suggestions to fix identified accessibility issues on html document pages you've created.

accessibility checker on html documents in the nest

Video: How to use the Accessibility Checker in the Nest.

Heading Styles

Using heading styles helps people with eyesight impairment to understand how the document is organized. Screen readers and Braille users can also jump between headings, which makes navigation much more efficient than if there are no headings.

On the left is how text is read by screen reading software when using heading styles. On the right is how the text is read without heading styles.

how screen reader views text without heading styles

Heading Styles should be used when creating documents, pdfs, or presentations: 

When using html documents, in the Nest, heading styles can be found under Format.

heading styles for the next under format

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