Hartley lab CAS

Technological Accessibility and Usability

Accessible Text Production Services

316 Shriver
(513) 529-6064


Miami is committed to providing equal opportunities for all individuals and, as such, strives to ensure that all instructional and marketing media is optimized for accessibility to users with learning and/or physical disabilities. Ensuring such accessibility is the shared responsibility of our community of administrators, faculty, and staff.

Web Technology and Software

Miami is committed to procuring web technology and software that will promote accessibility to users with learning and/or physical disabilities. However, in rare situations, a department or division may have a web technology or software that is not accessible for students with certain disabilities. In that situation, the department or division should confer with Student Disability Services on how Miami will provide equally effective alternate access. If equally effective alternate access cannot be provided, the department or division will need to find another technology, software or approach that is accessible to use.

Web Standards & Accessible Text

IT Services and eLearning Miami (ELM) can provide training, guidance, and assistance to faculty in creating accessible websites and course materials. However, here are some general tips on websites and documents. For websites:

  • Maintain a simple, consistent page layout throughout your site.
  • Keep backgrounds simple.
  • Make sure that there is enough contrast between the text and the background of the page.
  • Use standard HTML code.
  • Caption video, and transcribe other audio.
  • Make links descriptive so that they are understood out of context. For example, instead of using the phrase on a link such as, “Click here,” try something like “For more information about our department.”
  • Include a note about accessibility such as “Contact the instructor for information about how to make the materials more accessible.”

Follow a few basic steps to help ensure your documents are more accessible by individuals with disabilities:

  1. Use a sans serif font (e.g., Arial).
  2. Create headings and subheading using the built-in heading features of the authoring tool. This enables screen reader users to understand how the page is organized and to navigate effectively.
  3. Try to present data in bulleted or numbered lists, rather than tables. Content organized as a list should be created using the list controls that are provided in document authoring tool.
  4. Do not convey information solely through color. Colors that are used should have sufficient contrast.
  5. If you add an image to your document, provide alternative text for the image that describes it. Users unable to see images depend on authors to supplement images with alternative text.
  6. If you provide a hyperlink in your document to website, use test that describes what the user will see when they click on the link.

Miami University provides course materials in alternative accessible formats. Accessible Text Production Service can assist faculty in converting textbooks (math, sciences, technical, foreign languages, arts, history, etc.), and other complex classroom materials to be compatible with assistive technology.

Textbooks and course materials requested in braille/tactile format will be outsourced to third party vendors through Student Disability Services. To request braille materials, students should contact SDS as soon as the course is scheduled in order to begin the braille/tactile translation process.

For more information about and assistance with technological accessibility and usability on campus, please contact Miami’s Accessible Technology team at accessmu@miamioh.edu or visit AccessMU.