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10 Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content

Accessibility Statement added to Syllabus must include

  • Accessibility 508 Compliance statement;
  • Disability Accommodations statement;
  • Links to vendor accessibility information for specialty products used in your course.

Semantic Structure (or Styles) always use to create structure in Word, Open Office, HTML, etc. Heading

  • Document Title; Heading
  • Section Titles; Heading
  • Sub-section Titles.
  • Strong (structural equivalent of bold);
  • Emphasis (structural equivalent of italics).
  • Other Style types are available, as needed.
  • Table of Contents should be provided based on the Heading structure;
  • Table of Figures, if needed.

True Bulleted or Numbered Lists, True Columns, True Tables

 always created instead of using spacebar or tab to create faux structure.

Ensure Readability

 divide large blocks of text into smaller more manageable sections, avoid complex sentences, use sans-serif font at approximately 12 points.

Text Equivalents (ALT Text)

 for every non-text element such as image, chart or graph. A clear, concise description 100 characters or less that is provided via Format Picture. If ALT text alone is insufficient, provide Long Description in surrounding text or as separate document.

Avoid Color Coding

Color alone is not sole means of conveying important information.

Sufficient Color Contrast

between foreground and background elements. Also, background does not overpower text (e.g. PowerPoint, Web page, etc.)

Descriptive Hyperlinks

must make sense out of context; avoid vague descriptions like Click Here or Email Me. Avoid using the URL. Instead, hyperlink text should describe the destination: website name, document name, or other resource.

Accessibility Checkers

Always use the software’s built-in Accessibility Checker (Word, Open Office, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Follow the Repair recommendations provided by the Accessibility Checker to fix errors.


  • Audio-only: provide Text Transcript;
  • Video-only: provide Video Description (text description of key visual elements);
  • Audio and Video: provide Closed Captions, Text Transcript, and Video Description.
  • Note: Combine Text Transcript and Video Description into one file.

Note: These tips are a starting point for creating accessible course content; for additional information, please download Section 508 Compliance and Online Course Content available in the USG Accessibility Tutorial.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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