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Accessible Course Materials

Accessible Course Materials

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Accessible Course Materials

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  1. Accessible Course Materials Mike Elledge Software Accessibility/Usability Specialist University of Michigan 734-764-3593

  2. Introduction • If your course materials are not accessible, having an accessible Course Management System doesn’t mean much • Creating accessible materials is not overly difficult…just requires forethought • Accessible materials are easier for everyone • Making your documents and files accessible is a good beginning Creating Accessible Course Materials

  3. Today’s Objectives • To give you a conceptual understanding of designing accessible materials • Give you hands-on experience making course materials accessible • Word and PowerPoint documents • PDF files--New and old • Video captioning using MAGpie • Introduce you to IBM Home Page Reader • Have some fun along the way Creating Accessible Course Materials

  4. Reality Check! • Is this what you want, too? • Are there other topics or issues you expected to cover? • Finally…lots of material to cover, so please hold your questions…there will be two mini-breaks when you can ask them! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  5. Accessibility Basics • If you were in yesterday’s session, “Designing Accessible Websites,” this will be a bit of a review • Get coffee, take a nap, check your email…but not for too long! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  6. Accessibility Basics • Persons with disabilities use course materials differently • Persons who are blind listen to course documents • Persons who are deaf read video presentations • Persons who lack motor control use the keyboard or pointers to navigate • Persons with color blindness can’t differentiate between red and green • Persons with learning disabilities need focus Creating Accessible Course Materials

  7. Accessibility Basics • Implications… • You must design materials to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities • Adaptation to your materials is not a good option! • Fortunately… • Designing accessible materials improves everyone’s experience Creating Accessible Course Materials

  8. Designing for Blindness • Blind persons need web content read to them • They use: • Technologies that literally read through a website as users navigate with the keyboard • Screen readers (JAWS, Window-Eyes) • Talking web browsers (IBM Home Page Reader) • Text-based browsers (Lynx) • Braille displays (less often) • Users benefit from: • Course materials that include common style tags, table headers and image descriptions Creating Accessible Course Materials

  9. Designing for Low Vision • Persons with low vision need assistance reading text and images • They use: • Screen enlargers (like ZoomText) • Large screen CRTs • Browsers set at high zoom levels and/or enlarged text • Programs set to reverse (white on black) text • They benefit from: • Materials that accommodate text and image magnification Creating Accessible Course Materials

  10. Designing for Deafness • Deaf people need text for information • They use: • The same computer equipment as you or I • Interpreters • They benefit from: • Video that includes captioning or transcripts • Captioning is best because it retains the most context • Transcripts are preferable to nothing • Video, Flash animation, or auditory prompts must have text or visual supplementation—Section 508 Creating Accessible Course Materials

  11. Designing for Control • Persons with impaired motor control need varying assistance • They use (according to severity): • Modified mice • Special keyboards • Head mounted pointers • Eye-based, “blink and click” tools • They benefit from: • Large clickable areas and streamlined actions • Like preloading cursors in text boxes Creating Accessible Course Materials

  12. Designing for Cognition • Persons with cognitive impairments need: • Enhanced focus • Multiple representations • Minimal distraction and a quiet environment • Support for short term memory • They use: • Text enlargers with audio and highlighting (Kurzweil) • They benefit from: • Minimal animation, concise text, logical organization, and visual representations • Like paragraph headings, meaningful icons and pictures Creating Accessible Course Materials

  13. Designing for Accessibility • Key things to remember when creating course materials: • Images are meaningless, unless described • Tables need column and row names to make sense • URLs for links are terrible descriptors • Starting with accessible documents (especially in Word) is much easier than “retrofitting” • Remember…you have to provide context to a screen reader to give it to users! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  14. Accessible Microsoft Word • New Documents • Need Microsoft Word 2000 or XP (PC) • Use Format  Styles to tag page content • Save as “Read only” Creating Accessible Course Materials

  15. Accessible Microsoft Word • Style Tags • Similar to making html pages accessible • Identify headings, section headers (Header 1, etc.), provide alternative text for images • You cannot, however, mark up tables with Styles • No Table header tags • Even though JAWS says you can • Instead you have to identify headers within JAWS Creating Accessible Course Materials

  16. Word Example • Here is an untagged Word document UntaggedDocument.doc • This is how it sounds (JAWS) • Read using JAWS Creating Accessible Course Materials

  17. Word Example • Here is a tagged Word document TaggedDocument.doc • This is how it sounds (JAWS) • With tags and more accessible presentation • Read using JAWS • Notice the difference? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  18. Word Exercise • In this exercise, you will create a tagged document from an untagged document • Go to the EnrichingScholarship file at the bottom of your page and open “UnTaggedDocument.doc” • Go to the Format section in Word • Mark up the current content using Style • Add whatever you think will improve comprehension • Text, paragraph headings, description of the illustration, column headings, etc. • Save as “MyTaggedDocument” Creating Accessible Course Materials

  19. Word Exercise • Was everyone able to find Formatting/Style and mark up the document? • What did you add? • Did you modify the text itself? • And, if so, what did you do? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  20. Accessible PDF Files • To create accessible PDF documents, need • Microsoft Word XP or 2000 • Adobe Acrobat 5.05 with Acrobat 5.05 Accessibility and Forms Patch -Or- • Microsoft Word XP or 2000 OR Macintosh Word for OSX • Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Creating Accessible Course Materials

  21. Accessible PDF Files • Yes, you can create accessible documents with a Macintosh, using Word OS X • Save as “read-only” Word document • Open and save as PDF file in Acrobat 6.0 • Mac Question: “Can I just “print” my Word document as a PDF file and not use Acrobat and have it accessible?” • No, screen readers won’t recognize the tagging Creating Accessible Course Materials

  22. Accessible PDF—Acrobat 6.0 • Open Adobe Acrobat • Open “MyTaggedDocument.doc” • Document you just saved… • It will convert automatically--A nice improvement! • Save it as “MyTaggedDocument.pdf” • Check its accessibility • Open “MyTaggedDocument.pdf” in Acrobat • Go to Advanced and click Accessibility/Quick Check • What did it show? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  23. Accessible PDF—Acrobat 6.0 • Acrobat will retain paragraph headings and table headers • But you will need to re-add <alt> text for illustrations, and subtle tags like “Caption” Creating Accessible Course Materials

  24. Accessible PDF Files • This is how a tagged PDF file will sound more or less in JAWS • Play TaggedDocument.pdf Creating Accessible Course Materials

  25. Mini-Break #1 • Stand up and stretch… • Any questions so far? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  26. Accessible PDF Files • Making old PDF files accessible • Similar to retrofitting a website by adding tags • Adobe makes it easier, but not foolproof • Download Adobe “Make Accessible” Plug-in (done) … • …or use Acrobat 6.0 • Which contains an accessibility section under Advanced Creating Accessible Course Materials

  27. PDF Retrofit Exercise • Revise old PDF file • Open Acrobat 6.0 • Load UnTaggedDocument.pdf • Open Advanced and run it through Accessibility > Quick Check Checker • What does it tell you? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  28. PDF Retrofit Exercise • Retrofit • Go to Advanced > Add Tags to Document • Acrobat adds tags for you! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  29. PDF Retrofit Exercise • Review • Look at tags that have been created for the document • Open tag palette: Go to View > Navigation Tabs> Tags • Click on the “+” icon to the left of Tags • What do you see? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  30. PDF Retrofit Exercise • Revise • Although the tools do a reasonably good job of tagging documents, it’s best to go back in and add tags for: • Headings • Alt tags for illustrations • Table headers Creating Accessible Course Materials

  31. Home Page Reader • For the next example you will use IBM Home Page Reader (HPR) • A talking web browser that reads html documents • It can “read” websites in a variety of ways • By text • By heading • By links • Here are some common commands Creating Accessible Course Materials

  32. Play = Space bar Stop = Control key Next = Right arrow Prior = Left arrow Current = Down arrow Next link = Tab Prior link = Shift + Tab Up 10 items = Page up Down 10 items = Page down Pg summary = Cntrl + F1 Where am I? = Alt + F1 Read links = Alt + L Read headings = Alt + H Table navigation = Alt + T Show links list = Cntrl + L Top of page = Cntrl + Home HPR Keystrokes Creating Accessible Course Materials

  33. Home Page Reader • Memorize them • Just kidding! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  34. HPR Exercise • Put on your headphones • Open Home Page Reader on your computer • Put in the URL for a familiar website • Browse around using keyboard commands • What do you think? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  35. Accessible PowerPoint • Two ways to create “accessible” PowerPoint • Create document in PowerPoint 2000 or XP • Include markup for images, tables, diagrams and charts using Format Picture (or Object) Web • “Save for Web” (as XML) or “Convert to PDF” • XML works only in Internet Explorer (and not very well) • PDF retains alt descriptions, but not table markup • Or, create PowerPoint document and convert it into html with Export Office Wizard (better!) Creating Accessible Course Materials

  36. Accessible PowerPoint • Tool from University of Illinois • Helps convert PowerPoint presentations into accessible html ( • Works in all browsers (including Home Page Reader) • Has “Text-Only,” “Mostly Text,” or “Graphic” view • User-friendly navigation • Allows user to provide • Short (alt) and expanded (longdesc) descriptions • Automatically includes table information for charts Creating Accessible Course Materials

  37. PowerPoint Exercise • Launch PowerPoint 2000 or XP • Open “UnTaggedPowerPoint.ppt” document • Read through it to be familiar with the content • Open File > Save As Accessible Web Page • Follow instructions • Fill in descriptions for • Picture • Chart • Choose default settings for publishing it • Save to desktop as “MyTaggedPowerPoint” Creating Accessible Course Materials

  38. PowerPoint Exercise • Get out your Home Page Reader commands sheet • Put on your headphones • Launch IBM Home Page Reader • Open “MyTaggedPowerPoint.htm” • Listen to your document • Especially Alt + F1 in the table • Navigate around in it Creating Accessible Course Materials

  39. Mini-Break #2 • Stand up and stretch… • Any questions so far? Creating Accessible Course Materials

  40. Adding Video Captions • Why captions instead of transcripts? • Section 508 requires that text be provided in addition to audio and that it be synchronized with multimedia (video, Flash, etc.) • Better context for a deaf or hard of hearing person • Captions improve comprehension for everyone Creating Accessible Course Materials

  41. Captioning with MAGpie • MAGpie was developed by W3C and NCAM (National Center for Accessible Media) • Free! • Easy to use! • Can write to the three most popular viewer formats (RealPlayer, QuickTime and Windows Media Player)! • New version 2.0 that works with OS X • There is a Flash captioner in beta… Creating Accessible Course Materials

  42. MAGpie Comments • MAGpie 2.0 is both Mac and PC ready • Cannot caption RealMedia or Windows video in Macs • MAGpie uses two video recorders • QuickTime for QuickTime (.mov) clips • Oratrix GRiNS for Real media (.rm) • Either accepts .wav, .mpeg/mpg and .avi clips • Allows captioning or audio descriptions • Single or multiple lines (example: English and Spanish) • Customize the size and color of captions • Import existing captions or audio descriptions Creating Accessible Course Materials

  43. Using MAGpie • Download MAGpie (done) • Go to • Install MAGpie (done) • Go to • Read the installation instructions carefully. • If you have OSX, install MAGpie directly • If you do not, install this software, in this order: • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) • QuickTime 4.1.2 or higher, with QuickTime Java enabled • MAGpie 2.0 • Links are provided in the installation document Creating Accessible Course Materials

  44. MAGpie Exercise • We will caption a video clip called “SpaceTime.avi” • First, we will load the finished video • We will review it • Then, we will load the video without captioning… • Add captioning… • And play it back • Sound okay? Then let’s do it! Creating Accessible Course Materials

  45. MAGpie Exercise • Open Magpie • Go to Office Start > Programs in the left hand corner of your desktop • Click on MAGpie 2 • Press the “OK” button on the first page • Load the MAGpie Demo • Click on “File” > “Open Project” • Look in Drive C: • Click on “magpie2_demo.magpie” • Click Open Creating Accessible Course Materials

  46. MAGpie Exercise • Play the Video • Look for the Window Media Player in the upper left hand corner of your desktop • Put your headphones on • Press the green play arrow to watch the video • If the video seems stuck, stop the video, rewind it, click on the MAGpie player, and try again Creating Accessible Course Materials

  47. MAGpie Exercise • Get video elements • Go to File in MAGpie • Click on New Project • Do not save Changes to the Current Project • A new page, Open New Project, will open • Go to Browse • Choose the “SpaceTime.avi” • Put your name as the author • Click the OK button Creating Accessible Course Materials

  48. MAGpie Exercise • Create the timeline • This is where we will decide how much time to give our caption, so it will synchronize with the audio • Listen to the first phrase…”If there were nothing in our universe, the fabric of space time would be flat…” • Press the pause key • Note how long the phrase is (approx. 5 seconds) Creating Accessible Course Materials

  49. MAGpie Exercise • Create a Caption (continued) • Now listen to the rest of it by pressing the green play key): ”…but add a mass, and dimples form within it.” • Press the Pause key and not how long it is (approx. 4 seconds) • Rewind by pressing the Stop key Creating Accessible Course Materials

  50. MAGpie Exercise • Create a caption • Click in the Caption frame • Watch it become highlighted in green! • Type in the first phrase: ”If there were nothing in our universe, the fabric of space time would be flat…” • Hit Enter twice to move to the second frame • Finish the caption “…but add a mass, and dimples form within it.” Creating Accessible Course Materials