Accessibility Tips

Accessibility Tips

From using accessibility checkers to assessing color use and contrast, this list of useful, at-a-glance tips helps you create websites and documents that adhere to accessibility standards.

  • Captioning live WebEx sessions

    Category: Web

    Closed captioning for hearing-impaired participants is a real time, online captioned text of the dialog in your live WebEx session.

    Although there are options for embedding live captioning within a WebEx panel, we have learned that a more helpful way to incorporated live captioning is through a seperate browser window where participants can adjust text size and color to their own preferences.  Temple has live captioning partners that can help facilitate these efforts. (A fee is associated for these services.)

    Submit request for help at to get the live WebEx event captioned.

    Note: the captioning is only provided during live sessions, if the session is recorded, the captions will not be present in the recorded video.

  • Using Qualtrics? Use the accessibility checker too

    Category: Web

    If you create surveys using Qualtrics, use their built in Accessibility Checker to verify that the surveys you create can be used by someone who uses assistive technology, such as a screen reader.

  • Captioning pre-recorded WebEx sessions

    Category: Web

    Prerecorded WebEx sessions cannot be captioned after the fact, and then replayed in the WebEx environment.

    If you need to caption your recorded WebEx session follow these steps:

    1. Download the Webex recording using the WebEx  download tool

    2. Convert to mp4

    3. Upload to Ensemble

    4. Submit request for help at to get the video captioned.

    Note: If you captioned your live session, the caption is only provided during live sessions and will not be present in the recorded video.

  • Test your content with a screen reader

    Category: Web and Docs

    When testing your content on campus, a licensed copy of JAWS (a popular screen reader) is available (put in a TUhelp ticket to have it installed).  A free alternative, NVDA, is available if testing your content off campus. If you have a Macintosh, use the built in tool VoiceOver.

  • Guidelines for Alt-Tags

    Category: Web and Docs

    Read W3's Alt Text guidelines or the WebAIM article on Appropriate use of Alternative Text for how to craft the alternative text.

    The person hearing/reading the alt tag knows that it’s an image, do not reiterate this in the alt-tag (i.e. do not use “a picture of Temple’s bell tower” instead use “Temple’s bell tower”.)

    A null-alt (alt="") should be used if the image is decorative or only used for structural purposes

  • Checking for color contrast

    Category: Web and Docs

    People may have difficulty reading your content if the color contrast is too low (it’s recommended 4.5:1 ratio for normal sized text, or 3:1 ratio for large text).  To check the contrast use a freely available tool such as the The Colour Contrast Analyser from The Paciello Group or the Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar.

  • Use text in addition to color for importance

    Category: Web and Docs

    10% of the male population is color blind.  When marking items as important (or required), use a text indicator (such as an *) and a legend (“items marked with an * are required.”)

  • Microsoft Office's built in accessibility checker

    Category: Docs

    In Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 there is a built in accessibility checker that can check your documents as you create them.  Turn it on at the beginning and as you create  your document it'll give you a real-time update on the accessibility of your document, along with tips on why and how to fix any errors or warnings. Visit Microsoft's site to find out how to turn it on, or review tutorials on accessibility features in Office 2010 or Office 2013.

  • Use headings (correctly)

    Category: Web and Docs

    When creating long documents or web pages, use headings (don't just making the text bold, underlined, or larger size, use a heading style ) to help assistive technology users navigate the content. Headings should be in correct sequence (Heading 1, followed by Heading 2, etc.)

    To create a heading in a Microsoft Office document use the Styles box on the Home tab. 

    To create headings in a web page use the H1, H2, etc. tag. 

    Be careful not to use a heading just because it has the right formatting.  Use it because it's semantically correct to use it, and because it helps assistive technology users navigate your content.

  • When saving a PDF from Word, use Save As

    Category: Docs

    Need to create a PDF from Microsoft Word?  Use the Save As feature of Microsoft Office and choose PDF (instead of using Print and choosing PDF.) This will preserve a number of items that help the PDF document be more accessible (such as headings, and image attributes.)