5 Accessibility Considerations

Kim Mears

In the Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition, Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, Tara Robertson, and Josie Gray focus on an adjunct to Universal Design: Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn and provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone. Rather than a single, one-size-fits-all solution, it offers a flexible approach that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Below are some Best Practices for Accessibility from the Accessibility Toolkit.

Reference for our work: https://guides.lib.uoguelph.ca/accessiblepressbooks (checking if we can use )

Best Practices for Media Objects

The Accessibility Toolkit also provides best practices to guide your inclusion of media objects:

Accessibility Statements

Once you have created an accessible textbook, you should provide an accessibility statement. While an accessibility statement is not required, it can be an important and useful addition to a resource for which you have worked to make accessible. This section will outline guidelines and recommendations about what to include in an accessibility statement and who the accessibility statement is for.

Accessibility Checklist

Organizing content
  • Content is organized under headings and subheadings.
  • Headings and subheadings are used sequentially (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2).


  • Images that convey information include alternative text (alt text) descriptions of the image’s content or function.
  • Graphs, charts, and maps also include contextual or supporting details in the text surrounding the image.
  • Images do not rely on colour to convey information.
  • Images that are purely decorative do not have alt-tag descriptions. (Descriptive text is unnecessary if the image doesn’t convey contextual content information).
  • The link is meaningful in context and does not use generic text such as “click here” or “read more.”
  • Links do not open in new windows or tabs.
  • If a link must open in a new window or tab, a textual reference is included in the link information (e.g., [NewTab]).
  • Tables include row and column headers.
  • Row and column headers have the correct scope assigned.
  • Tables include a caption.
  • Tables avoid merged or split cells.
  • Tables have adequate cell padding.
  • A transcript is available for each multimedia resource including relevant non-speech content.
  • Transcript includes:
    • speaker’s name
    • all speech content
    • relevant descriptions of speech
    • descriptions of relevant non-speech audio
    • headings and subheadings
  • Captions of all speech content and relevant non-speech content are included in the multimedia resource; this includes the audio synchronized with a video presentation.
  • Audio descriptions of contextual visuals (e.g., graphs, charts) are included in the multimedia resource.
  • Formulas have been created using MathML.
  • Formulas are images with alternative text descriptions if MathML is not an option.
Font size
  • Font size is 12 points or higher for body text.
  • Font size is 9 points for footnotes or endnotes.
  • Font size can be zoomed to 200%.


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OER Toolkit Copyright © 2021 by Kim Mears is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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