Incorporating Accessibility and Usability


Incorporating Accessibility and Usability

Students with disabilities may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in their course(s). Please contact the Disability Services Center in College Hall 225 at 215-641-6575 to make an appointment to learn about eligibility and documentation guidelines. At the West Campus, contact the Coordinator of Disability Services in South Hall 147 (Student Success Center) at 610-718-1853.

New students should meet with a Disability Services staff member at their chosen campus before the semester starts to arrange for accommodation letters for their professors. Returning students should request their accommodation letters before the beginning of the semester.

 Accommodations may include:

  • Extended time for test-taking
  • Distraction-reduced testing environment
  • Scribe and/or computer technology assistance for testing
  • Tape recording, note-taking, interpreters or closed captioning for classroom lectures
  • Alternative format texts

We also offer the following assistive technology and programs.

  • Kurzweil 3000 and Read and Write for students with learning disabilities
  • Closed Circuit TV and ZoomText for students with low vision
  • JAWS and Braille Embosser, for students with blindness
  • Alternative keyboards and trackballs for students with physical disabilities
  • Access to Learning Ally and Bookshare for students with print disabilities
  • Alternative format materials (e.g., digital files, Braille, large print) for students with print impairments

Guidelines for Creating Inclusive Content


Properly formatted pages have a structure that Assistive Technology (AT) devices can readily access. Format your page using style elements in a hierarchical manner. Use the styles and formatting toolbar to format text, and apply standard or custom styles and formatting rather than merely altering the size or weight of fonts.



Tables should be created using the insert table tool, and they should be described and labeled. All tables must read from left to right, top to bottom and tables with data must have the first row designated as a "Header Row" in table properties.

Image of heading selections in Blackboard under paragraph including heading, sub heading, paragraph, and formatted.  

Image of the table options in Blackboard.


Colors that have a sufficient contrast should be used. You can also provide clues other than color such as icons and extra text. Red and green should never be used together, especially on navigation buttons or maps. By taking all the colors out of your page, you can more clearly see what your color blind audience will be viewing.


Hyperlinks should contain useful descriptions of the linked page.
Bad Practice: "For the course syllabus, click here."
Good Practice: "Course Syllabus."

Image of white text on black box above green text on red box to show good contrast and poor contrast


Image of the quick access toolbar in Blackboard. It shows the different formatting options for text, tables, images, and hyperlinks.


Alt Text, or alternative text, should be provided for all images and graphics. The alt text should convey the essential information in the image and contain information about that image in the context of the page.


Audio and Video Files

Audio and video information should include transcripts and captioning. Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation can also be used. Any visual information, such as action or expressions, in the video that is necessary to understand the production’s content, must be described. This can be accomplished within Yuja using the captioning feature.

Image of alternative text in Blackboard. It gives the option of text box for image description.

Posted - Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 12:51 PM. This article has been viewed 8480 times.
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