We call learning accessible when all the resources that we use for learning – readings, presentations, worksheets, digital interactives, web pages – contain no hidden barriers to students who might be trying to access them in different contexts or by different means, such as students using screen readers because they have low vision.
At VU, students can access alternative formats for most resources. That means that documents (PDF, Word, PowerPoint or HTML document) can be downloaded as:
- Tagged PDF
- OCRed PDF
- BeeLine Reader
Some of these formats are popular because of the flexibility they provide for when and where learning can happen – such as the audio MP3 file. Other formats provide greater accessibility to students who use assisted technologies such as screen readers or even tablets. Text-based formats (Tagged PDFs, HTML, OCRed PDF and BeeLine Reader) give students the ability to change text size, search text, and modify background lighting or text contrast to ease eye strain.
For more information about each of these formats and a guide to choosing the right one for you, please see Blackboard Ally Alternative formats