Web Based Course Content Accessibility Quick Guide

Accessibility and disability-related accommodations must be taken into consideration throughout preparations and planning your online course to ensure that all students can fully participate.

This quick guide that will enable you to evaluate the most critical elements of your web-based course content.  For more detailed information on these topics and further topics of making your course accessible, please visit our faculty resource pages on Accessible Online Learning and IT Accessibility at Rutgers 

Course Information:

Learning Management Systems:


  • Text created with the Rich Text Editor should be formatted using drop down Paragraph menu. 
  • When developing course content using the Rich Text Editor, you should verify accessibility of headings, images, and descriptive links by using the Accessibility Checker.
  • UDOIT Universal Design Online Content Inspection Tool is available to scan all course content for accessibility, and provide feedback and meaningful remediation suggestions. Ensure to run UDOIT on your course as you build it and resolve accessibility issues. 


  • For instructors using Blackboard, use Blackboard Ally to check your course content for accessibility.



  • Use of color should be limited, and color combinations should provide sufficient contrast. Use a color contrast checker to check contrast between text color and background.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out.
  • Use bold or italic text to convey emphasis instead of using underlines, colors, or writing whole sentences in all caps.


  • Insert active hyperlinks for all URLs in your document. Instead of using “Click here”, the anchor text should be descriptive of where the link will take the user.

  • Hypertext links provide a clear description of the destination.


  • Alternative text (Alt Text) is text that you can add to describe images to be read by a screenreader.
  • You should add Alt Text to charts, pictures, shapes, and tables.
  • “Alt text” or long descriptions are provided for all images.
  • For alternative text, describe the image and, if necessary, include an explanation about what is important about the image in terms of the context of learning. Context is everything.
  • For more complex images, longer description is included in the surrounding text on the page. 
  • In some cases where the equivalent cannot be presented succinctly, a link to a separate page that contains a longer description of the image content can be provided.

Video and Audio:

  • Captions or transcripts are provided for every video.
  • Transcripts are provided for podcasts and audio clips.


  • Ensure there is adequate contrast between text and background.
  • Use a color contrast checker to check contrast between text color and background.
  • Color is not used as means of conveying information/ differentiation of information.


  • The row and column scope attribute in a table helps provide context to screen readers. Row and column headers should be identified in any table structure used.

Microsoft Word or Google Docs:

  • Documents should be created using Microsoft Word preset styles.
  • Use a text font that is easy to read using at least 10px san serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana). These fonts will magnify well for low vision users.
  • Use properly formatted heading structures for the page.
  • Run the built in accessibility checker in Word. 

PowerPoint Slides

  • Use simple slide templates and layouts built into PowerPoint
  • Slides should have unique titles for each slide (check by using outline view).
  • Slides should not have transitions or timed functions activated.
  • Avoid low contrast between slide text and slide background.
  • Avoid busy backgrounds that make text difficult to read
  • Screen readers read the slide title first, then other content elements, then additional content. Therefore check reading order to present in a logical manner.
  • Add alt text for Images
  • Check accessibility using the built in accessibility checker in PowerPoint

Next Faculty Training Topic: Creating Navigation


Resource Category
Faculty Resources for Online Courses
Creating Accessible Documents
Faculty Training on Accessibility
New Brunswick
Off Campus Locations