Get Accessible Tech Help


We provide a variety of workshops and other training opportunities throughout the year.

Access for All: AT Symposium

Miami's Accessible Technology Symposium, Access for All, is held annually, featuring guest speakers and sessions taught by experts in the field.

Access Academy

Access Academy, provided by Level Access, offers self-paced, expert-led accessibility training. Courses are designed by digital accessibility experts and are available on demand, giving you the flexibility to learn at your own pace.

Infobase Learning Cloud

Infobase Learning Cloud is an online technology training and professional development tool for educators. All faculty, staff, and students have access to nearly 50,000 step-by-step tutorials on common software. (Miami UniqueID and password required)

Skillsoft Percipio

Percipio is a digital learning platform that engages and inspires staff to learn. It's micro-learning videos provide quick, targeted learning focusing on specific tasks delivered in real-time. (Miami UniqueID and password required)


View a selection of educational webinars, presented on demand or live.


Get help with accessibility best practices.

Knowledge Base

Learn more about Read&Write, SAM, CARES, and other Miami systems that support accessible learning.


Contact the Miller Center for Student Disability Services to explore accommodations and services designed to facilitate your access at Miami.

Faculty and Staff Support Guide

This guide helps faculty and academic advisors to enable students with disabilities to find their place at Miami, engage with the community, and reach academic and personal success.

Creating Accessible Content

Creating accessible content is vital for a successful digital experience. Removing barriers will broaden your audience, make websites more user-friendly, improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and meet web accessibility standards.

Learn more about these standards and ways to create accessible content.

Alternative Text (Alt Text)

Alternative Text (Alt text) is a textual alternative (non-visual) way to describe the meaning of an image. Please provide a brief (under 100 characters) description of all images.

The alternative text provides several services:

  • Screen readers cannot analyze an image and determine what the image represents. Instead, the screen reader uses alternative text to convey the image to the user.
  • In cases where an image is not loaded into a web page, the alternate text is displayed instead. Some users choose not to display any images in the web browser and prefer to read the alternative text.
  • Search engines use alternative text to assist in search results.

Best Practices

  • The subject matter expert should assist in determining the educational purpose of all images.
  • The accepted practice for images varies depending on the use of the image. If an image is included in Canvas for educational purposes, a description of the image is required.
  • Charts and graphs are examples of images that require a detailed explanation so that sight-impaired users can gain knowledge. Another example would be an image for an Art History course. Text descriptions should be provided as a caption for these images or included in the text.
  • If an image is for decoration only and does not meaningfully contribute to the page's content, then the image can be more generally described or marked as a decorative image.
  • Avoid using "image of" or "picture of" within the alternate text. A screen reader will automatically say "image of" before reading the text.
  • For images that also act as links, avoid using "click here" or "link to" in the alternative text. The screen reader will automatically say "link" before reading the description.

Examples of Alternative Text

Interior of a Steinway grand piano with strings and hammers that create the sound.

  • Descriptive alternative text, not the file name
    • Proper alt text for an image will include a description of the image; for example, "Interior of a Steinway grand piano with strings and hammers that create the sound.”
    • The screen reader will read “Image Interior of a Steinway grand piano with strings and hammers that create the sound.” The description provided in this example provides knowledge to the sight-impaired user.

Color Contrast

Color is an important asset in web content design, enhancing its aesthetic appeal, usability, and accessibility. However, some people have difficulty perceiving color. In addition, people using text-only, limited-color, or monochrome displays and browsers cannot access information presented only in color.

Best Practices

  • Avoid communicating information with color alone.
  • Use high levels of color contrast.
  • Most accessible colors against a white background include:
    • Black (or white text on a black background)
    • Burnt Orange
    • Very Dark Gray
    • Medium to dark blue for links/hyperlinks
  • Users with partial vision benefit from text attributes such as size, color, bold, italics, and underlining to draw the attention of the content.
  • Use headings to delineate the hierarchy and importance of the text. Avoid using formatting styles such as bold, italics, and underline alone as ways to delineate structure.


Forms are commonly used to provide interaction on websites and in web applications. Accessible forms are easy to understand, complete, and submit. Instructions, cues, required form fields, and field formatting requirements must be clearly identified to users. Ensure that the reading and navigation order is logical and intuitive.

Best Practices

  • Ensure forms are logical and easy to use
  • Ensure forms are keyboard-accessible
  • Provide instructions for the form (i.e., “* = required form field”).


Headings provide structure to your documents. Word processing documents (such as Word or Google Docs), web documents (such as HTML pages), and other formats (such as PDF) are all more usable and navigable by assistive technology tools, and those who use bookmark and Table of Contents when these document structures are in place.

Best Practice

  • Documents should usually include only one Heading 1.
  • Use proper formatting, styles, and headings in a logical order. Avoid skipping headings or using headings inconsistently.
  • Headings will also create an outline or can assist in creating a table of contents.


Links should be descriptive of the content they're linking to, such as 'Class Schedule' rather than 'schedule.html' or 'click here' because many screen reader users use links to navigate the page, and providing links without text can be a barrier for these users.

Best Practices

Follow these guidelines when adding links to web pages and documents:

  • Link text should describe the destination.
  • Avoid duplicate links on pages. These links may have different descriptive text but take users to the same place.
  • Avoid using generic descriptions such as “click here,” "online," "learn more," etc. These labels do not describe the function of a link. Users will NOT hear the link in the context of the sentence. Usually, the links are read separately.
  • Don't underline text unless it is a link/hyperlink.

Examples of Descriptive Link Text

Poor Usage Examples

Good Usage Examples


Ordered and unordered lists group together related items. If your content includes lists, make sure they are made using styles or markup language.

Best Practices

  • Unordered lists are for content having no order of sequence or importance.
  • Ordered lists suggest sequence, order, or ranking. List items are typically prepended with a number, letter, Roman numeral, etc.
  • List structure should be used wherever a logical list is present and nowhere else. Don't merely create something that looks like a list by starting each paragraph with a bullet character.
  • Don't apply list structure to elements that do not logically form a list.

Media Captioning

Videos in your course or on the web must be captioned. Captions should include relevant sound effects and identify the speaker. Learn more about captioning.


Tables should be simple and structured appropriately. Tables should be used to organize and display data, not for content/page layout.

Best Practices

  • Avoid merging or splitting table cells, as doing so will cause screen readers to read the table columns and rows inaccurately. Special HTML codes are used for merged cells to allow the content to be read accurately by a screen reader.
  • Column and row headers provide a description of the table structure for sighted and screen reader users.
  • For HTML, follow these best practices:
    • A caption tag <caption> should be at the top of the table. The caption is visible to everyone and should describe the purpose of the table.
    • Scope attributes (<th scope="col"> or <th scope="row">) in headers organize and further define table data by row/column for screen reader users.
    • Table headers <th> should never be empty, but table data <td> can be empty.

Example of a Good Use of Table Headers

Column Heading Column Heading Column Heading
Row Heading Table data Table data Table data
Row Heading Table data Table data Table data
Row Heading Table data Table data Table data
Row Heading Table data Table data Table data

Web Accessibility

Check websites for accessibility to ensure the material can be viewed, navigated, and understood. WebAim WAVE is a free tool that can quickly scan to identify some potential barriers. The more RED errors you have on a page, the less likely you should use it. Additional manual testing should be performed.

Faculty should find and use resources that are accessible. If you use applications in the class and want to have them tested for accessibility, you can also contact

If you are a Cascade user, University Communications and Marketing provides excellent resources on Website Accessibility.

Accessibility Tools

A wide range of tools are available that will help you quickly check elements of your website for accessibility, or to create documents in a variety of file types.


Ally is a tool within Canvas that helps enhance the usability and accessibility of course pages and documents.

Assistive Technology

Would you like to have software that reads text to you? What about a program that allows your computer to type the words as you speak? You can use technology to support access for yourself and others.


Resources are available to assist you in creating accessible content in Canvas.


CARES (powered by SensusAccess) is a self-service solution for students, faculty, and staff that converts documents into a range of alternative formats, including MP3, EPUB, HTML, and digital Braille.

Document Accessibility Checkers

Accessibility checkers are built into programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat.

Universal Design

Universal Design in Learning (UDL) is a way of thinking to provide flexibility in how students access material, engage with those materials, and demonstrate their knowledge.

Video Conferencing: WebEx and Zoom

Conferencing guidelines for holding accessible virtual meetings in WebEx and Zoom are available. Automatic Transcriptions should be enabled in all Zoom sessions. If you have a participant who is deaf or hard of hearing, then you will need to arrange professional captioning for the event.

Web Accessibility Checklist

This web accessibility checklist provides a list of categories with links to more extended accessibility standards on the WebAIM website.