Why You Should Add Audio Descriptions to Explain the Visual Content of Videos

What is an audio description?  It is a soundtrack that describes visual content that would not be evident from subtitles or closed captions alone.  The descriptions don't explain every detail, but convey the general visual content.  Here's a website from UC Berkeley and a website from WebAIM that have more information. This a good example. While the technology… Continue reading Why You Should Add Audio Descriptions to Explain the Visual Content of Videos

Touch your way to learn science!

I recently received an email from a PhD student with blindness who is studying human development and learning.  He asked if he could "touch my way" to review the structure of a neuron for a psychology class.  Absolutely! The experience made me realize that it's not just science students with visual impairments who might need… Continue reading Touch your way to learn science!

Use YouTube to Add Subtitles to Narrated PowerPoint Lectures

A few years ago I narrated PowerPoint lectures for my hybrid microbiology course in which students take the lecture portion of the course online. I used Camtasia for Mac to narrate all of the lectures. I really like that software, and TechSmith's technical support is great. To make those narrated lectures accessible, I now must add subtitles.… Continue reading Use YouTube to Add Subtitles to Narrated PowerPoint Lectures

Why You Should Check the Accessibility of the Textbooks for Your Class

To conform with a lawsuit settlement, all of the class materials and resources at my college must be 100% accessible.  That includes the texts and any online publisher-provided resources used in our classes as well.  We are not permitted to use an inaccessible textbook unless an accessible version is available.  Most publishing companies are aware… Continue reading Why You Should Check the Accessibility of the Textbooks for Your Class

Why You Need to Add Alternative Text to Visuals

For many professors, this summer will involve going through every PowerPoint slide in our lectures to add alternative text (alt text) to every figure, illustration, table, picture, and graph to make the slides accessible. If you haven't yet thought about doing that, you probably should. Many institutions of higher education across the country have been… Continue reading Why You Need to Add Alternative Text to Visuals

Make your classroom materials accessible now, not later.

The tenets of Universal Instructional Design suggest that instructors create all course materials in accessible format. That's exactly what most of us are doing as we develop new content, but many of us have volumes of materials that we have accumulated over the years that we still want to use in our classes. And a… Continue reading Make your classroom materials accessible now, not later.

Make an accessible PDF from earlier versions of Word for Mac

All documents I create for my science courses have to be accessible.  I'm now routinely creating new materials as accessible documents, but most of us must make countless existing documents accessible as well.  As I mentioned in a prior post, the new 15.41 version of Office has a good accessibility checker, and it's an immense… Continue reading Make an accessible PDF from earlier versions of Word for Mac