My Blog

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

How to Make PowerPoint Slides Accessible

My school Mac laptop received an upgrade to Office 15.41 recently, and I discovered that this new version has an accessibility checker.  I find it both wonderful and horrible.  It's wonderful in that it displays a list of every error it detects, but the lists for my documents are SO long.  Fortunately, it not only… Continue reading How to Make PowerPoint Slides Accessible

Checking Accessibility of Word for Mac 2011 Documents

I use a Mac laptop both at home and at work, so all of the documents I create for my classes are written in Word for Mac, currently version 2011.  While I definitely prefer my Mac to a PC, when trying to check the accessibility of the documents I've created, the Word for Mac version… Continue reading Checking Accessibility of Word for Mac 2011 Documents

Make Tactile Images Larger Than the Visual Image

I just found this information today in an Article I posted in the Resources tab, Guidelines for Collegiate Faculty to Teach Mathematics to Blind or Visually Impaired Students, by Maneki (2017): The degree of resolution that the human eye can distinguish is much finer than that which human fingers can interpret.  For a complex tactile drawing to… Continue reading Make Tactile Images Larger Than the Visual Image

How can I check PowerPoint slides for accessibility?

I have been working on making the PowerPoint slides I use in my classes accessible, but had no way to check to ensure that my changes actually made the slides accessible.  For students with blindness, I wanted to know whether the slides would make sense if they were read by JAWS software.  There are videos… Continue reading How can I check PowerPoint slides for accessibility?

Braille Guide for the Eclipse

Follow this link for a Braille guide to tomorrow's solar eclipse. For those of you who are sighted and plan to watch any part of tomorrow's eclipse, please see the information at the following links.  If you don't watch anything else, watch the video entitled Safely Viewing the Eclipse. American Astronomical Society's Eclipse Information Finding… Continue reading Braille Guide for the Eclipse

Course Accessibility

Like many other professors at institutions across the globe, I am retrofitting my course so that it is accessible to students with disabilities. My syllabi and other course materials now have headings. For the PowerPoint slides, I'm ensuring that all fonts are no smaller than 28 point, that I've used bold in addition to color… Continue reading Course Accessibility

Solar Eclipse for the Visually Impaired

There will be a total solar eclipse in many areas of the United States on August 21st. Many folks are traveling to locations in the path of totality in order view this potentially once in a lifetime event.  People in other locations may be able to view a partial solar eclipse, which is still an… Continue reading Solar Eclipse for the Visually Impaired