This past week I attended the Desire2Learn conference in Denver, Colorado. One of the sessions highlighted the platform in regards to accessibility. I was informed that OAKS is one of the leading learning management systems when it comes to designing for accessibility. They just won the gold level award from the National Federation of the Blind. The session that I went to required us to use an open source screen reader called NVDA. Have you heard of it? If you’re not familiar with screen readers it’s all keyboard driving, mainly utilizing the tab and enter keys. I learned that Desire2Learn has a lot of great built in features such as when you tab on the course home page you have the option to go straight to the course content link since that’s where most students go for the reading materials, resources, etc. You can also disable some features in the Preference tool. In D2L click the appearance and accessibility tab, and turn off the HTML editor and turn on the pop up window. This is good practice if you’re using a screen reader because pop ups allow good cognitive aid that the new task is associated with the previous task – pop ups have proper separation. If you disable the HTML editor it will take away all of the many options so that the user can tab to the content, in this case the plain text field.
And as you know it’s always best practice to pay attention and write in your descriptions for alt text.
I hope this helps!