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Disability Management System Web-Based Information Module

Topic: Accessible Publications

Learning Objectives:

(Upon completion of this module, an individual will have):

  • Tips regarding making publications accessible to readers with vision impairments
  • Suggestions as to verbiage to incorporate in publications
  • Appropriate responses to inquiries for publication in alternate formats
  • Resources for verifying that websites are accessible.

Module Layout:

What are some general things to keep in mind in developing accessible publications?

According to the American Federation for the Blind’s site, Tips for Making Print More Readable, low vision often makes reading a difficult task because of several factors including: a reduction in the amount of light that can enter the eye, a blurring of an image on the retina and/or when the central portion of the retina is damaged. To counterbalance these problems see the AFB's Tips for Making Print More Readable.

How do I advise readers that other formats of documents are available if needed?

It is recommended that the following be included on all publications:
This document is available in alternative format upon request.
(Alternative format may be large print, audio recording, CD or Braille.)

To facilitate complying with this offer, retain a “text only” version of every document published so that it can easily be copied and disseminated on CD.

What guidance should I give to those fielding incoming inquiries regarding requests for alternative format?

When request comes in, ascertain what type of format is required. (Selections are large print, audio recording, CD or Braille.)

  • If the request is for large print:
    Ask what font size is required. If the individual requests font larger than 18 point, discuss the availability of audio recording or CD.
  • If the request is for audio recording:
    Ask if standard speed or RFB (Recording for the Blind) is needed.
    Ask if the individual has a cassette recorder, digital recorder or a recorder for the blind.
    Ask if needed on 2 track or 4 track. (If 2 track at standard speed is requested, the recording can be done on any tape recorder. If 4 track (RFB) is requested, the recording must be
    done on a recorder for the blind.)
  • If the request is for CD indicate that the document can be provided in text-only.
  • If the request is for Braille, refer to the Braille printer’s instructions.

How can I ensure that my web site is accessible to those who have vision impairments?

    Specific information about developing web sites for the visually impaired at the Mardiros Internet Marketing site.

    The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) documents explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Web "content" generally refers to the information in a Web page or Web application, including text, images, forms, sounds, and such.

    10 Quick Tips:

    1. Images & animations: Use the alt attribute to describe the function of each visual.
    2. Image maps. Use the client-side map and text for hotspots.
    3. Multimedia. Provide captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video.
    4. Hypertext links. Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid "click here."
    5. Page organization. Use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS for layout and style where possible.
    6. Graphs & charts. Summarize or use the longdesc attribute.
    7. Scripts, applets, & plug-ins. Provide alternative content in case active features are inaccessible or unsupported.
    8. Frames. Use the noframes element and meaningful titles.
    9. Tables. Make line-by-line reading sensible. Summarize.
    10. Check your work. Validate. Use tools, checklist, and guidelines at