Accessibility Help

Faculty play a key role when it comes to providing access to our students with disabilities.  Faculty must maintain the confidentiality of students with disabilities.  To discuss students, please contact DSPS at 805.730.4164.   DSPS is the designated agent of the college responsible for ensuring equal access to students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodation to instruction.  Designing your courses and following the principles of Universal Design of Instruction creates an equitable and inclusive environment to benefit all of our students.

- Letter from Chancellor Oakley re: Accessibility Standards
- SBCC Accessibility Standards 
- BP 3730, Web Standards
-AP 3730, Web Standards
- BP 3725, Information and Communications Technology Accessibility and Acceptable Use
-AP 3725, Information and Communications Technology Accessibility and Acceptable Use

The Takeaway : 
1. Know that accessibility is part of your responsibility in creating instructional materials.
2. Know something about the accessibility of the technology the instructional tool creates (e.g. HTML, PPT, PDF, E-books from publishers, ones you create or open educational resources).
3. Know how the authoring tool supports accessibility features.
4. Ask vendors - how does your tool help me learn about and create accessible content using universal design principles.
5.  Expect vendors to provide you with a knowledgeable answer.

Check a Canvas Page 

  • Pope Tech (button at the bottom of each Canvas item)
    • 7min video on using PopeTech to check your Canvas content.

      What Canvas elements can faculty test with Pope Tech?
      Most areas where faculty use the Canvas Rich Content Editor can be tested with Pope Tech:

      Canvas pages
      Quiz descriptions
      Discussion Topics

      To test a Canvas item for accessibility concerns, activate Pope Tech by selecting the Pope Tech icon button at left of the Cancel and Save buttons while editing any of the Canvas items above. Pope Tech works even when the item is not yet published.

      What does Pope Tech check for?
      If headers are present or skipped 
      Flags suspicious alt text for images (contains “image of”, “image”, etc.)
      Color contrast between text and highlighted colored-background
      (Note: doesn’t check color contrast within images)
      If font size is readable
      Flags non-descriptive links such as “click here”, “link”, “more”, “read more” 
      Flags redundant links 
      Flags tables that lack at least one header and caption.
      Flags YouTube, Canvas embedded video and Canvas embedded audio to bring awareness media will need to be manually reviewed for captions
      Flags potential inaccessible files that need to be manually reviewed

      Alternative Text errors are listed in the Images and Links category of the Pope Tech tool. This video demonstrates how to fix such errors.

      Fixing Color Contrast
      Color Contrast errors are listed in the Text and Contrast category of the Pope Tech tool. Users can fix color contrast errors by one of two methods:

      Adjust the color in the Canvas rich text editor.
      Adjust the contrast by using the sliders in the Pope Tech interface until the interface displays a “Pass” message.
      This video demonstrates how to fix such errors

      Fixing Table Captions and Headers
      Table errors are listed in the Tables and Lists area of Pope Tech. Using Pope Tech, it is very simple to add a table caption and designate whether the first row or the first column must be the header. This video demonstrates how to fix such errors

      This two page PDF walks through the usage of PopeTech to check accessibility of Canvas content.

  • Canvas Accessibility Checker (does an ok pass at headings, alt text, bullets, and tables)

Video Captioning – as more instructors make use of videos on YouTube, be aware the videos you incorporate into class activities must be closed-captioned. (coming soon)

Uploading your video to youtube allows their system to provide captions automatically.   These captions are not perfect.  They lack punctuation, capitalization, and need to be reviewed.   They are a good starting point, but if your video will be used for long term, or for lectures, you need to either have professional captions done through DECT, or correct them manually.

A few things to consider if your project qualifies for DECT funding:

  1. Is this a synchronous class in which a student is enrolled who has presented an Academic Accommodation Plan with Disability Services that calls for captioning as an accommodation?
    • Then DECT funding can be used
  2. Is this an asynchronous class in which a student is enrolled who has presented an Academic Accommodation Plan with Disability Services that calls for captioning as an accommodation?  And is this a recording that is longer than 30 minutes?
    •  Then DECT funding can be used.
  3. The state Chancellor's Office memo also states:
    • "All closed captions requests for videos that do not have a certification of current need for accommodation but would like to be accessible for potential future students with disabilities will be processed as lowest priority auto-caption videos.  Relevant faculty/staff should edit them for accuracy as needed."
    • DECT funding is not utilized for auto-caption processes

Coming soon

Adobe premiere has a new auto caption feature.  Adobe Premiere can create "better" captions simply and automatically for use in your youtube videos. This technique is generates captions that include punctuation and capital letters , which in turn increases the accessibility of our videos.

Handout Version (with screenshots)

Video Tutorial

Make a Word Doc Accessible (coming soon)

Make a Google Doc Accessible (coming soon)

Accessibility Cheat Sheets

STEM Accessibility Resource


Taking a Closer Look at Accessibility -This playlist includes videos from a 5 part webinar series presented by @ONE and OEI that discuss these accessibility topics (8/10/2016)

  • Creating Accessible PDF Documents with MS Word and Acrobat Pro (57:57)
  • @ONE Webinar: Online Course Usability: 10 ways to kick it up a notch (51:49)
  • @ONE Webinar: Evaluating Web Content for Accessibility (56:11)
  • Creating Accessible Online Presentations (1:04:14)
  • Captioning Considerations (1:08:51)
  1. Creating accessible electronic content handout
  2. One page accessibility quick guides made available by (NCADE)
  3. Canvas general accessibility design guidelines
  4. Google accessibility - Products and Features
  5. Chrome and Chromebook accessibility (YouTube 
  6. Adding ALT tags to Google slides
  7. Accessible document creation, MS Word and Accessible PDF
  8. @One course - Introduction to Designing for Accessibility (Self-Paced course)
Accessibility and Instruction

Overview of Access and Compliance requirements at Santa Barbara City College.

Assumptions about the classroom

  • Classrooms are comprised of diverse learners, including students with disabilities and a wide range of learning profiles

  • The college has a legal obligation to provide services and accommodations for students with disabilities

  • The college depends on the interactive process to establish needs, procedures, and expectations

  • The partnership between faculty, student and the college promotes a consistent process for managing the needs of the student

  • The Universal Design model of teaching provides a lens in which to increase awareness and educational access

Review the principles of universal design for instruction

The term web accessibility speaks to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites, learning management systems, student systems and/or publisher sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality. (WCAG overview)

Designing an Accessible Course

It is much easier to build your course with web accessibility in mind at the start of your workflow, rather than going back to retrofit problem areas later. Think of the user approaching your class, what “keys” will you build into the course for better navigation? By incorporating these simple steps , you’ll be creating a course with universal design in mind, no matter who enters your classroom on the first day. You want to be sure your class is running in top form on the first day of class.

To be compliant with our campus standards (WCAG 2.0) you must have content that is organized around the following four principles, a foundation necessary for anyone to access and use Web content:

  1. Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

    • This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)

  2. Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.

    • This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)

  3. Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

    • This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)

  4. Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

    • This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)

If any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the Web. These guidelines should be followed during the development of a new course. For existing courses, these guidelines should begin to take shape in the course at the point of redesign.

In 2011, the Chancellor’s Office released the Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines provide the 113 community colleges with guidelines for increasing accessible courses for students with disabilities.

Making these adjustments in your course will have a greater impact for long-term student accessibility.


Legal Landscape for providing access

SBCC Curriculum – Access and Compliance

Classroom assumptions

How does the learning environment present barriers and facilitators?

Instructional design considerations matrix


Experiences of Students with Disabilities

To better understand how students may interact with your course materials, view this Assistive Technology Software Demonstration :  ZoomText, JAWS and Dragon software programs.

Overview – Diversity of web users

Tutorial – 10 modules on the common needs in Distance Education for individuals with disabilities

The Hidden World of Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder Video (26:47) -

How Blind People Read the Internet

Introduction To The Screen Reader, Video (7:04)