The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Accessibility for Remote Instruction

The key is to create documents that text readers and accessibility software can process effectively to help the readers that require help navigating or viewing the material.

  • In your presentations and notes, use the design elements the software provides, such as headings, lists, etc. so that the accessible technology software can automatically recognize the various elements.
    • For example, when your document in Word is broken into various sections and subsections, make sure to designate the title of each section as such by highlighting the text in the title and selecting the desired heading or subheading format on the top.
      screen grab of a word document and a circle around the 'heading 1' style option in the toolbar
    • An added benefit is that you can then quickly change the formatting of all your section or subsection titles by right-clicking on the corresponding heading, such as the one circled in red above, selecting modify and creating your desired format there.
  • Figures, tables, charts, images, embedded objects, or even audio/video files should include Alt Text with a succinct description (important content or function) of the object.
  • How to add Alt-Text in MSWord:
    • Figure:
      • Right-click on figure
      • Select format picture
      • At the top menu of the window that pops up choose the tab Layout and Properties, which shows as a square with outward arrows​
        Figure showing the 'format picture' toolbox in MS Word with the text box option (blue box with white arrows in it pointing outward) circled
    • Table:
      • Right-click on table
      • Choose Table Properties
      • At the top menu of the window that pops up, choose the Alt Text tab
      • Type in your Alt Text description there

Further resources to make your course accessible »

Webinar on Building Courses with Accessibility in mind »

Workshop on building an accessible syllabus scheduled for 8/13 »

Next: Library Course Reserves »