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Whether you choose to deliver instruction in a 100% asynchronous online course, an interactive video course or a blend of the two, accessibility of online materials is a requirement. So, we encourage you to utilize the best practices below for all online materials. Have a question about the accessibility of your materials? Email us at

Accessibility Best Practice No. 1: Use Alt Tags

What it is: Alt tags are written descriptions of what a sighted user would see when looking at an image.

Why it is mandated: Alt tags interpret image content for visually-impaired users utilizing screen reading software. Their presence makes the learning experience more equitable.

Accessibility Best Practice No. 2: Linked Words

What is it: linked, written description of the content of a link, replacing links that are listed as http://... .

Why it is mandated: linked words tell visually-impaired learners utilizing a screen reader where the link will lead them and prevents letter-by-letter reading.

Accessibility Best Practice No. 3: Mind Your Colors

What we mean: avoid organizing information by color only and avoid low-contrast color combos.

Why it is mandated: organizing information by color means that students who are colorblind cannot see the organization scheme. Using high-contrast color combinations accommodates users with visual impairments.

Example of problematic fonts and colors

Accessibility Best Practice No. 4: Audio & Visual Equivalents

What we mean: provide transcripts/closed captions for audio or video with audio. For videos with text only, provide a written equivalent of the words that are seen. 

Why it is mandated: to provide equivalent information to users with visual or hearing impairments.

Accessibility Best Practice No. 5: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) + Alt Tags in Documents 

What we mean: make sure that documents can be read in their entirety by a screen reader. 

Why it is mandated: When you scan a page, your photocopier scans it as an image. Placing that page in appropriate software ensures that each character is recognized and thus can be read by a screen reader. It’s also important to ensure that images in documents (e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.) can be read by a screen reader.