Accessibility is vital to Nashville State’s strategic plan to promote equitable educational experiences and we should be dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion for all students and not just meeting the needs of those with disabilities. The integration of new tools within D2L now helps us visualize this strategy to not only identify accessibility issues in courses but also provide feedback on why they matter and how to improve your course experience.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, and transportation, as well as all public and private places that are open to the general public. It is best practice to develop and revise all D2L courses and course materials with ADA guidelines in mind to ensure your course is accessible for all students. The responsibility of accessibility in higher education falls to all of us so take the time to be proactive in how we can grow and improve accessibility at Nashville State for our students, staff, and faculty. Accessibility is for everyone!
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Nashville State’s Access Center provides accommodations if you have a documented physical, emotional, or learning condition. We can provide reasonable accommodations if you are a community member attending one of our events.
Students, faculty, and staff, if you need accommodation assistance, please contact the Access Center.
Tennessee House Bill 1857 (Senate Bill 1692) established the need for minimum accessibility criteria for informational materials and related technology used by institutions of higher education. To adhere to the minimum Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 A & ADA recommendations provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the following criteria must be met in online courses:
- Make sure the content is clearly written and easy to read. There are many ways to make your content easier to understand. Write clearly, use clear fonts, and use headings and lists appropriately.
- Provide appropriate document structure. Headings, lists, and other structural elements provide meaning and structure to web pages. They can also facilitate keyboard navigation within the page.
- Ensure links make sense out of context. Every link should make sense if the link text is read by itself. Screen reader users may choose to read only the links on a web page. Certain phrases like “click here” and “more” must be avoided.
- Provide appropriate alternative text. Alternative text provides access to non-text content (such as images) in web pages. It is especially helpful for people who are blind and rely on a screen reader to have the content of a website read to them.
- Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning. The use of color can enhance comprehension, but do not use color alone to convey information. That information may not be available to a person who is colorblind and will be unavailable to screen reader users.
- Create accessible data tables. Tables should be used to organize data, not layout, and should use either the “scope” or “header and id” attributes for easier navigation with assistive technology.
- Caption and/or provide transcripts for media. Videos must have captions and audio descriptions. A text transcription must accompany all audio files. More on how to caption course media may be found on the OOL’s Closed Captioning page.
Courses at colleges and universities are required to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at Level AA compliance. Read the World Wide Web Consortium’s WCAG 2 at a Glance information to learn more about the guidelines and how to put them into context within your courses.
WebAIM's WCAG 2.0 Checklist
Web Accessibility In Mind (WebAIM) has created this WCAG 2.0 Checklist with recommendations for implementing web principles and techniques for WCAG 2.0 conformance.
The Access Center and the Office of Online Learning are working to provide faculty and staff essential resources, workshops, and training opportunities to proactively address accessibility issues at Nashville State.
- Nashville State Accessibility Training for Faculty and Staff can be requested from the Office of Online Learning at email@example.com.
The Office of Online Learning is committed to supporting Yuja and other tools within D2L. There are multiple levels of planned support available with tier 1 and tier 2 support for every division at the college.
- Tier 1 support is dependent on you utilizing resources provided by D2L, Yuja, and
Nashville State to help you understand accessibility issues and learn how to resolve
- See links below for Supported Accessibility Tools and self-guided resources.
- Tier 2 support is for faculty or staff who need additional help via workshops or scheduling
individual consults with an instructional designer.
- Consult with Instructional Designers at the Office of Online Learning.
- Workshops or training sponsored by Online Learning and the Access Center. For additional questions or support requests please contact the Office of Online Learning.
Our goal is to be proactive in addressing accessibility and work with divisions and departments to improve the accessibility of our online courses and programs.
Supported Accessibility Tools
D2L does provide an accessibility checker within the HTML editor for all text and image content within D2L. The icon is located at the bottom right corner of the HTML editor within D2L.
The icon is located at the bottom right corner of the HTML editor within D2L. The second icon from the left with an eye with a checkmark below. D2L's accessibility checker reviews your added content and looks for the following items:
- Use of paragraphs as headings
- Sequential headings
- Adjacent links
- Ordered list structure
- Unordered list structure
- Contrast ratio of text to background colors
- Image ALT text
- ALT text filename
- Table caption
- Complex table summary
- Table caption and summary
- Table heading and scope, makeup, and headers
Microsoft Accessibility Checker
Before uploading your document or spreadsheet into D2L, run the Microsoft Accessibility Checker to make sure your Microsoft Office content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit. This accessibility checker can identify and recommend actions to correct any accessibility errors or warnings.
Yuja Panorama Accessibility Checker
Panorama for Digital Accessibility provides organizations with the unique ability to correct the accessibility of their digital content and provide alternative formats for users with learning disabilities.
Yuja Lecture Capture
The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform’s Media Player provides a number of options for Viewers to increase accessibility, including customizable Caption Settings, Audio Descriptions, and Keyboard shortcuts.
Zoom now provides the ability to record to the cloud to generate and automatic transcription (captions). To record to the cloud and generate automatic transcription (captions), login to Zoom.us, go to “Settings” then the “Recording” tab, and select the box next to “Audio Transcript”. After your meeting ends, Zoom will process both your recording and a transcript. The transcript file will be one of the files available to download from your Recordings area.
Teams now provides the ability to record to the cloud to generate and automatic transcription (captions).
Legal Compliance and Additional Information
- Getting Started with Web Accessibility
- Section 508 Law
- United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division - ADA
- WebAIM - Web Accessibility in Mind
- ADA Compliance for Online Course Design