Creating Accessible Content

When adding content to your Brightspace course, you should ensure that the content is accessible to all students, regardless of any physical or other disability they may have (e.g., a condition that requires the use of a screen reader). The list below contains some tips for making course content accessible.

1. Set clear course expectations

  • Support students by building a logical course structure that is easy to follow. 
  • Make use of the Content Overview page and add your course syllabus to it. 
  • Identify course expectations clearly to help students manage their workload. 

2. Make time limits and deadlines flexible

  • Consider that some students need longer to work through course content than others. Therefore, give plenty of time to work on content/assignments. 

3. Provide alternative learning materials

  • Offer course materials that can be engaging in multiple ways (e.g., text, videos, images). 
  • Choose HTML over Word documents or PDF to enhance accessibility for screen-reader users. 
  • Follow web standards when creating content. 
  • Use optical character recognition when scanning files and uploading them as PDF; add tags to documents for easier accessibility by screen-reader users. 
  • Provide a text-only alternative to graphics, video, or audio recordings. 

4. General tips for creating accessible HTML content 

  • Use a simple layout that does not organize content in columns or tables. 
  • Use headings to communicate the relationship between sections. 
  • Include a table of contents for longer topics. 
  • Include detailed captions below tables and graphs. 
  • Make links accessible by giving them meaningful names; do not use “Click here” etc. A great guide to accessible links has been published by Smashing Magazine
  • Avoid using blinking or flashing multimedia. 
  • Avoid using only colour to convey meaning. 
  • Ensure strong contrast between the text and the background. 

This is a summary of more extensive recommendations published in Brightspace Documentation. For a more detailed insight into the topic, please refer to those recommendations.