How can we create content that better meet these guidelines?

  • Use various formatting best practices when developing any online course content
  • Create web based files using HTML, XHTML or WYSIWYG editors as opposed to text, word documents or PDF files

Many of the web accessibility content standards are relatively easy to conform to by using a WYSIWYG (What You SeeIs What You Get) editor. These editors are used to create web-based content and function much like Microsoft Office, but students don't need a browser plug-in to view or download the file to "open" and read it.

In addition, editors allow you to add certain "tags" to images, tables, and other media which creates content that is readable for screen readers. Screen readers interpret what is displayed on the screen via sound. View a 7 minute video (YouTube) on how screen readers assist people who are blind.

In fact, if you have been using Brightspace (D2L) for your online courses, you may have been working with such an editor all this time in either the News, Discussions, or Content area. In fact D2L's HTML editor has a built in Accessibility Checker and is used similar to a spell checker. As mentioned earlier in this tutorial, the best option for creating content for your course is to use D2L's HTML editor which comes with an Accessibility Checker that can help guide you through making each page accessible. Using an HTML Editor is very similar to Microsoft Word, but it creates files directly in your course which are readable using "Screen Readers".

View quick guide on how to use the Accessibility Checker in D2L. Please note as of 1/2022 the checker icon in the video (eyeball with a check-mark) is now located in the HTML Editor formatting menu in the upper left corner (view image).

There are also many pay for and free WYSIWYG editors that can be installed directly on your computer. These can be used to create HTML files that can then be uploaded into your online course.

  • SeaMonkey is a free editor bundled in a browser (latest release: January 2022)
  • Adobe Dreamweaver is a pay for editor and has many accessibility controls and options integrated directly within the program. If you are a BC employee you should be able to get this editor for free as part of our college licensed Adobe Suite of software.

If you prefer to stay with a text based document program like Microsoft Word and don't want to use D2L's HTML editor for accessibilty, you will need to be a bit more prudent in using specific formatting tools, styles, add-ins and other options in order to create accessible files similar to those produced by an HTML editor.

Although I am unable to cover everything, what I have listed here are considered best practice solutions to several success criteria for developing accessible online course content.

Best Practice Solutions if not using D2L's HTML Editor/Accessibility Checker:

Quick Links to main Accessibility sections


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