What is a course review for accessibility?

Accessibility is not only required due to the various federal and state laws but is also important to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to materials. For far too long institutions and businesses have skirted on the interpretations of the law and what is required. Accessibility is required now, and I am here to help.

This review is designed to find and report barriers for students with disabilities. Each review consists of a detailed analysis of every item in a course. Relevant laws and regulations are what guide these reviews and play an integral role in the evaluation. These laws and regulations include Section 508 standards, WCAG standards, and general ADA law.

What is included in an accessibility review?

First, we must look at the content in the course to ensure its accessibility. This typically includes the following:

  • Course Pages
    • Headings, Lists, Embedded Links, Tables, Color Contrast, Visual Elements, Alternate Text
  • Any Video or Audio Files
    • Captions and transcription files
  • PDFs
    • Tags, alternate text, reading order, headings, lists, table structure, links, artifacts, page numbers, and overall structure
  • Word Docs
    • Headings, Lists, Embedded Links, Tables, Color Contrast, Visual Elements, Alternate Text
  • PPT files
    • Lists, Embedded Links, Tables, Color Contrast, Visual Elements, Alternate Text, Slide Titles, Outline view optimized, Theme usage
  • Other files like excel, access, etc
  • Third-party Links
  • LTI applications

Each element is tested with assistive technology including JAWS, NVDA, Voice Over, WAVE toolbar, and manual testing with the keyboard.

The Report

Each element is tested and reported in an easy to use the rubric. When an element has multiple failures, the report may only include a snapshot of the errors. For example, headings are typically an issue that is found on every single page in the course.

The  overview report

The overview includes a birds-eye view to the accessibility of your course and will inform you whether or not it is accessible on a single page. Below is a screenshot sample of the overview report.

Example overview of accessibility report

Detailed Findings

In addition to the overview, a detailed report is given with all the errors found in each accessibility review. Each rubric item is broken out into another document with specific links and screenshots to errors found in the course, along with additional information on how to remediate.

Detailed report of accessibility errors

This review is delivered in a variety of formats including a word document, google drive doc, or a PDF.

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