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Additional Accessibility Resources

Commitment to Accessibility at Montclair State University

As an institution that receives federal funding under the Assistive Technology Act, we are committed to making our electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities (required by Section 508).

Accessible Instructional Materials

All course materials should be posted in an accessible format. We’ve outlined some actions you can take to ensure your courses are accessible to all students.

MSU has an accessible course syllabus available for download in the Microsoft Word format. This follows best practices, as explained below, to ensure this critical document is accessible to all students.

Documents

MS Office files (Word, PowerPoint and Excel)

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Google Docs or Slides

Google Docs or Slides should be formatted so that they are readable by all – Review Accessibility for Docs editors

Canvas Specific Tips

  • Use the Canvas Accessibility Checker – The  Accessibility Checker verifies content created within the Rich Content Editor to check on common accessibility issues. Check out the Canvas Guides to learn more.
  • Ally for Canvas is embedded in all MSU Canvas courses and automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative accessible formats. Ally also guides instructors on how to improve the accessibility of course content.
  • Use Canvas to provide extended time on quizzes for students who need it.
  • Canvas can also allow for differentiated assignments.
  • When offering Canvas conferencing sessions, share presentation materials prior to the live session to ensure students can access them. Other accommodations may be required based on students’ needs such as live captioning or alternative content formats.
  • Review the Canvas General Accessibility Design Guidelines

For additional guidance please consult with the Montclair State Disability Resource Center.

Layout, Design and Color

  • Use headings to make pages easy to navigate.
  • Font size should be larger than 10pt, to ensure legibility.
  • Links should be labeled in a descriptive way. Avoid “click here” or URLs to web addresses
  • Tables should be formatted to include row and column headers.
  • Color should not be used to convey important information.
  • Ensure color contrast is strong.

Images and Graphics

  • All images and graphics need alternative text or descriptions (e.g. “ALT”) which allow visually impaired students to understand what they represent.
    • Accessible Charts (View how to use visuals to convey complex images to users, from Penn State).
    • Equations (View how to make math equations accessible, from Penn State)

Video and Audio

  • Audio files should include transcripts.
  • All videos should have captions.
  • Panopto is now available – Panopto is an all-in-one video platform. It not only provides desktop lecture recording and automatic captioning services, but also offers pedagogical features to add learning interactions within a video. It is seamlessly integrated with Canvas. You can review our Panopto Documentation for both the PC (Windows) and Mac (Apple) or attend a training workshop.
  • NJVid, known as the New Jersey Digital Video Repository, is a service for video streaming and publishing of videos for higher education institutions. NJVID provides a common online platform for presenting, accessing, and hosting Montclair State University’s licensed and locally produced videos that educate and enlighten viewers in support of hybrid and online teaching and learning.
  • MSU’s NJVID accommodates two types of video collections: Academic/Administrative Collections and Commercial Video Collections (the Sprague Library Collection). NJVID Digital Media Repository

Email

  • Formatting – Use a sans serif font such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana, 12 point or larger and left aligned.
  • Hyperlinks – Use the link tool instead of copying and pasting the URL: First, click on the Insert Link icon; next, type a meaningful descriptive title for the link under Text to display, then paste the URL under Web Address.
  • Images – Any pictures and graphs within an email must include alternative text or descriptions.

References Consulted