Ensure your content is accessible
When the term accessibility is used in OER or educational settings, it usually refers to ensuring equitable access to people with disabilities. According to UDL Online: "'Accessibility' is the term used to reference the degree to which a product or activity is usable by those with physical, sensory, cognitive, or learning disabilities; 'universal design' is an approach to product or activity creation that addresses these needs from the outset, to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, the need for ad hoc retrofitting" [emphasis added].
It's your responsibility to ensure all materials you create, adopt, or link to are accessible. Accessibility aligns with LBCC's values and policies and is federal law. Accessible practices often benefit people with a variety of needs. For example, alternative text for images may benefit people with slow internet connections and those with cognitive disabilities, as well as people who have low or no vision.
The steps to creating an accessible resource vary a lot depending on your format and content. The most important thing you can do is to schedule a consultation with the Center for Accessibility Resources at the beginning of your project to review your sources and platforms. Below, however, are four accessible practices that apply across many different digital platforms:
- Use structured headings in text so people using screen readers can navigate it
- Ensure your images are accessible with alternative text or other strategies
- Include a transcript or closed captions for audiovisual resources
- Ensure mathematical formulas are accessible. Equatio makes this easy and is free to LBCC affiliates!
More information about the accessibility of specific platforms and media types is available in the next section.
- Dionna Camp/Center for Accessibility Resources. Digital Accessibility at LBCC.
- Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, Tara Robertson, and Josie Gray/BC Campus. Accessibility Toolkit (2nd ed.) CC BY 4.0.
- W3C. Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) Overview.
- Kaela Parks and Lisa Brandt/Portland Community College. Archived Webinar: OER Accessibility Training [hour long video]. CC BY 4.0.