Quality matters web accessibility standard
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Quality Matters Web Accessibility Standard. Amy Kinsel, June 2, 2010. Quality Matters Standard 8: Accessibility. 8.1 The course incorporates ADA standards and reflects conformance with institutional policy regarding accessibility in online and hybrid courses.

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Quality matters standard 8 accessibility
Quality Matters Standard 8: Accessibility

8.1 The course incorporates ADA standards and reflects conformance with institutional policy regarding accessibility in online and hybrid courses.

8.2 Course pages and course materials provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content. 

8.3 Course pages have links that are self-describing and meaningful. 

8.4 The course ensures screen readability. 

Q: What do we need to know to meet these standards?

Physical impairments and assistive technologies
Physical Impairments and Assistive Technologies

Three types of impairment

Assistive technologies

1. Visual Impairment

2. Hearing Impairment

3. Motor Impairment

  • Adaptive keyboard

  • Closed captioning

  • Ergonomic keyboard

  • Eye tracking

  • Head wand

  • Mouth stick

  • On-screen keyboard

  • Open captioning

  • Oversized trackball mouse

  • Screen magnifier

  • Screen reader

  • Single switch access

  • Voice Recognition Software

  • Word Recognition Software

When designing for web accessibility keep the following goals in mind
When designing for web accessibility, keep the following goals in mind:

  • Recognize the challenges students with various disabilities experience with online courses.

  • Identify various assistive technologies used by students with disabilities and the implications each have on the design of distance education.

  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of students, instructors, and their institution’s disabilities services office in using assistive technologies for distance education.     

  • Use computer operating features or tools to modify settings.

Visual impairments
Visual Impairments goals in mind:

Q: What does a visually impaired person “see” in your classroom? How can your classroom design enable use of assistive technologies such as screen readers?

A: Example of online content that is not “readable”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U


Text equivalents for non-text items shall be provided. e.g., via "ALT- Tag. "

Text shall use non-serif font such as Ariel.

Text shall include headings, labels, tags, and tables of content.

Text shall include meaningful names and titles for hyperlinks.

Captioning and alt text
Captioning and Alt-text goals in mind:

Navajo student Tom Torlino in1882, before attending Carlisle Indian School, in Pennsylvania, and three months later.

Hearing impairments
Hearing Impairments goals in mind:

Q: What does a hearing impaired person “hear” in your classroom? How does your classroom design enable use of assistive technologies such as closed captioning? Do you provide transcripts of audio components?

A: Example of online content that is not “audible”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q67ZrEZMqQ


Provide text equivalence of audio materials.

Use Abobe Sound Booth to convert audio files to text or to convert the audio portion of a video file to text (http://www.adobe.com).

Use MAGpie (Media Access Generator) to add captions to multimedia presentations (http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/web_multimedia/tools-guidelines/magpie).

For an image or animation, type a description using Microsoft Word.

Motor impairments
Motor Impairments goals in mind:

Q: How can a motor impaired student navigate through your course? Is it possible to navigate without using a mouse or keyboard? Can a student in your class complete assessments without using a mouse?

A: Example of online content that does not facilitate mouse-less interaction: http://www.webaim.org/techniques/flash/media/hidden.html


Form elements (text field, checkbox, dropdown list, etc.) should have a label associated with the correct form element using the <label> tag.

Attach labels to standard form buttons so that the user can click on the label itself rather than selecting small checkboxes.

When using an image button rather than a standard button, the input should have appropriate alt text.

Icons used as links should also have HTML tags or an accompanying link.

Web accessibility resources
Web Accessibility Resources goals in mind:

  • Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education (GRADE): http://www.accesselearning.net/.

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison:  The Division of Information Technology (DoIT): http://www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/.

  • Web Accessibility In Mind (WebAIM) is an initiative from Utah State University: http://www.webaim.org/.