Spring 2021 Guide and COVID-19 information


Accessibility How To

Checking Documents

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint each have a built-in accessibility checker. The default location for the accessibility Checker is on the File tab > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility. We recommend putting the Check Accessibility button on the Home tab of the ribbon though, as it makes it easier to use. Clicking the Check Accessibility button will open the Accessibility pane where you will be shown if there are any accessibility issues.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also has a built in Accessibility checker, you can find it in the Protect & Standardize section of the Tools. Select the tool and then choose Full Check from the available options. When the Accessibility Checker Options dialog box opens choose Start Checking. The Accessibility Checker report will open on the left side of the page.

Please check the Tech Help tab of MyRedDragon for workshops that will show you how to make Microsoft and Adobe documents accessible.

Adding the Accessibility Checker to the Ribbon

To add the Accessibility Checker to the Home tab of the ribbon

  1. Right click on the ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon from the dropdown menu that appears
  2. In the right-hand box highlight the Home tab and choose the New Group button near the bottom right of the dialog box
  3. With the New Group (Custom) highlighted choose the Rename button near the bottom right of the dialog box
  4. In the Rename dialog box that opens enter the name “Accessibility” for the New Group and select OK
  5. Select the Accessibility (Custom) group
  6. Near the top left of the dialog box, in the Choose Commands From dropdown choose Commands Not in the Ribbon
  7. Find the Check Accessibility command in the list and highlight it
  8. Click the Add>> button in the center of the dialog box
  9. You will now see the Check Accessibility button in the Accessibility group

Advanced Checker

If you see something in the accessibility checker that you do not understand how to fix in Microsoft products you can choose the Read more About Making Documents Accessible link at the bottom of the checker pane for information from Microsoft. In the Adobe checker you can right click the issue listed and choose Explain from the menu that appears for information from Adobe.

If your accessibility issue is about a document or something that will be shared with a class or in Blackboard please contact...

If your accessibility concern is regarding a web page Please contact The Help Center at x2500 or email thehelpcenter@cortland.edu

About Alt Tags

The term "ALT tag" is a common shorthand term used to refer to the ALT attribute within in the IMG tag. Any time you use an image, be sure to include an ALT tag or ALT text within the IMGtag. Doing so will provide a clear text alternative of the image for screen reader users.

It is usually necessary to add Alt Text to all graphics in documents and emails. This includes pictures, shapes, charts, tables, and other graphics. The Alt Text should:

  • Be accurate and equivalent in presenting the same content and function as presented by the image.
  • Be short. Typically, no more than a few words are necessary, though sometimes a short sentence or two may be appropriate. The longer your alternative text, the more difficult it will be to read by text browsers. A good rule of thumb for alternative text is to keep it between 5 and 15 words total.
  • Be context driven. The way you write alt text is very dependent upon the accompanying text in a document. For example, if a paragraph of text about George Washington is accompanied by a picture of George Washington the alt text for the picture can be “ “, which indicates that the picture is redundant. If, however, a paragraph of text about Presidents of the United States is accompanied by the same picture of George Washington, the picture’s alt text should now read “George Washington, the first President of the United States”
  • NOT be redundant or provide the exact same information as text within the context of the image. (see above)
  • NOT use the phrases "image of ..." or "graphic of ..." to describe the image. It’s usually apparent to the user that it is an image. If the image is conveying content, it is typically not necessary that the user knows that it is an image that is conveying the content, as opposed to text.
  • Include any text contained in images: If you have images which contain text, the alt-text should be the text in the image unless all the text appears in the document as well.

Alt Text may not be needed in the following situations:

  • If the information provided by the image is communicated effectively elsewhere in the body text of the page. Often images (or diagrams) are used to reinforce understanding and do not necessarily provide any additional information. Providing Alt Text in this situation would duplicate text content.
  • If an image is purely decorative and provides no useful information to the user to aid them in understanding the content of the web page.

Note: Even if the accessibility checker does not say you need to add alt text please check all your images, they may contain alt text from other sources which you may need to change.

2019-07-12 14:52:23.782 - CST

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