Course Design Accessibility Guidelines at Montclair State University
As an institution that receives federal funding under the Assistive Technology Act, we are required to comply with Section 508 standards. Section 508 is an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 that requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities.
When developing your online, hybrid and/or face-to-face course(s), consider how to comply with Section 508 standards. The following areas will be the most important to you when developing multimedia materials and web pages:
- Videos and audio clips need to include captions.
- Audio files need to include text transcripts.
- Images need alternative text or descriptions (e.g. “alt”)
- Color should not be used to convey important information.
- Tables should include row and column headers.
- Documents must be accessible.
PDFs can be problematic for screen readers if they are not formatted properly. A PDF document is not accessible if you cannot highlight text.
Learn more about how to create accessible documents here.
For a detailed description of the 508 standards for web design and online educational materials visit:
The following resources can help you check course webpages and materials to see how accessible they may be to students with disabilities.
- WebAIM provides a detailed checklist to ensure Section 508 compliance in online materials: http://webaim.org/standards/508/checklist