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My Moore School

Digital Accessibility

On this page, you'll find links to training videos and training sessions (bottom of page), as well as resources to help you (callout on right side of page).

Accessibility is all about inclusiveness, a way to ensure that no one is excluded. As more services become digital, the number of people using the internet increases. One of the biggest upsides to an accessible website is that it provides a better user experience for everyone, not just for people with disabilities.

Digital accessibility is making documents, web pages, videos, presentations, photos and all digital content readable by assistive technology. Assistive technology includes screen readers that read web content out loud, captions for videos, transcripts for audio, keyboards and switches for those who cannot use a mouse or trackpad.

As an educational institution, we should be providing an equally excellent user experience for everyone. Not everyone who has a disability identifies as such and may not report their disability to the Student Disability Resource Center. Thus, all course materials and student communications must be made accessible so that all students have fair and equal access to the same material. Additionally, students learn best in different ways so providing accessible material is an inclusivity practice that helps everyone, not just those with disabilities.

While we should be doing this to ensure everyone has an equally positive experience, we are required to do so by federal law and UofSC policy [PDF].

All course materials that are posted online must comply with digital accessibility guidelines required by the ADA and outlined in WCAG Level AA. This includes content that is posted to the website  as well as content that is posted to Blackboard or distributed to students via email.

The need for digital accessibility compliance applies to any site that may be associated with the university. If you believe that is not your site, you should be aware that if a legal complaint is made to the university about the accessibility of your site, you will be responsible for fixing the issues within a specified time frame or will have to take down the inaccessible content.

Please make sure you have the most recent version of Microsoft Office. View instructions for updating your software. Trainings are held using the most current version. Also, the most recent version will be used to work on your documents, meaning you'll need to update your software in order to open it afterwards.

Answers to FAQs

  • While the BB interface is accessible, you need to make sure than any documents you add or create are also accessible. 
  • When creating documents or tests in BB, please use the tools BB provides (ex: use the table tool to create tables, the formula tool to create formulas, etc.).
  • If you copy and paste a table, formula, image into a BB document, you MUST provide alt text.
  • If you are sending students out to social media for class assignments, please be aware that you may need to make accommodations for certain students. Just a mention in the assignment will suffice ("Please let me know if you need compliancy accommodations for this assignment.')

Panopto is the standard video-sharing platform that UofSC has adopted. It replaces Ensemble for those who were on that platform. It’s the preferred method for creating asynchronous videos to share with your students. It’s integrated into Blackboard and has built-in Closed Captioning. You may use Panopto to create private videos for students who have missed class.

  • For those using Blackboard Collaborate, this section of the company has been sold. Blackboard will decommission this software in the near future (mid-2023). Panopto is fully integrated into Blackboard and can be used for video recording. Panopto should also be used to store and stream recordings done with Zoom.

All information shared in this email and additional resources can be found in the article below knowledge article with an instructional manual:

Training session recording:

  • Please make sure you are in the most updated version of the software. Older versions do not have all of the accessibility features available.

  • If you are handing out PRINTED slides, those do NOT need to be compliant. Only items uploaded to the internet need to be fixed.

  • Recording yourself talking while showing a slide show
    • The content on the slides has to be relayed for students with vision-related disabilities. A best practice is to describe the slide in voiceover so it can be relayed in captions. This includes charts and data, which will need to be described in audio.
  • PowerPoints, Keynote, Google Slides, etc.
      • All presentations must be accessible, even those without recorded voiceovers. If you’re using software other than those listed, please contact Laney Grubbs so the software can be checked for compliance.
  • Anything created in Word needs to be compliant. This includes syllabi, handouts, reference materials, case studies, etc. Basically, anything that will be distributed digitally. PRINTED materials do not need to be compliant.

  • Newer versions of Word have accessibility checker. The checker will identify problems and assist you in fixing them. Microsoft Office 2019 is recommended for PCs and Microsoft Version 16.41 for Macs.
  • DO NOT use tables to format your document!!
  • Use the built-in tools to build your documents. Examples include
    • Setting text styles in the Style Toolbox
    • Using the table tool instead of tabs
    • Set table headings
    • Using formula tool
    • Set Heading 1 headings (this does not show up on the accessibility checker but needs to be done)
  • DO NOT save Excel files as anything other than Excel formats. If you save as a PDF, it will remove most of the accessibility features.

FOR NOW, please put a disclaimer next to any assignment that sends students to outside websites or includes documents that can't be made accessible:

"If you are unable to view this assignment, please contact me at (your email and/or phone number)."

  • Word, Adobe Products, PowerPoint, etc., files need to be made accessible prior to converting to PDF.
  • Never scan and save a document as a PDF or make a static photo/image into a PDF. These type of images cannot be made accessible.
  • Those of you having the library/a student scan pages from books/magazines/journals need to instruct them to scan as TEXT rather than PDF. This will give you a document screen readers can scan. Accessibility issues will still need to be fixed in Word.
  • If you are using downloaded articles, case studies or journal entries in class, you still need to make these accessible (unless it's not feasible to do so, i.e., the document is 100 pages long or has multiple images). There are options to do that:
    • Fix the accessibility issues in Adobe Acrobat Pro, or
    • Provide an accessible alternative:
      This can be a link to the original article online or you can save the page to your computer by right clicking on the page and then clicking “Save as…”.  Blackboard allows you to upload HTML files so they can then distribute the page that way (there are sometimes display issues with this method).
    • The other option is to copy the text from the page and paste it directly into a Blackboard Item. From there you can adjust it or format it.
  • Google Forms are not accessible. The Moore School is now using Formstack for all forms on the website or that are emailed out to students. This includes course evaluations! 
  • Please contact Laney Grubbs if you need help converting materials

Digital Accessibility Training 

The Moore School's Marketing and Communication department is offering trainings for anyone interested in learning how to make digital Microsoft course materials accessible. We encourage faculty to send TAs and student interns to these trainings so they can help with the task of making teaching materials accessible.

Please contact the Moore School's IT department for closed captioning training.

If you have a Richland County Library card, you can access FREE accessibility tutorials.  Need a library card? Apply online. 


Moore School Accessibility Training for Word, PPT and Excel

Trainings are held by appointment only and are open to faculty, staff, TAs/GAs and student interns -- groups are also welcome. Trainings usually last one to one-and-a-half hours. Please email Laney Grubbs to schedule training.

Training Videos

You are strongly encouraged to attend a training session so you can ask questions and benefit from questions asked by others. These videos are intended as reference guides.

Formstack Training

  • If you have a Formstack account and would like training, please contact Laney Grubbs to set it up.
  • Google Docs is not accessible and can no longer be used for forms, applications, evaluations or surveys. If you do not have a Formstack account and would like us to convert a document for you, please contact us.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.