D2L closely follows web accessibility standards and works with interested clients to test the usability of products and tools. Over the past year or so, D2L has implemented multiple accessibility tools to ensure D2L courses are accessible to all faculty and students. These tools are located in strategic areas that aim to be convenient to both end users- faculty during the course design process, and for students once the course has begun. Let’s take a look at the accessibility tools currently available in D2L:
Accessibility Checker in D2L
The Accessibility Checker is used to review content within the HTML Editor to ensure that the HTML page conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) and Section 508 accessibility standards. The Accessibility Checker will indicate if any issues are detected. If issues are detected the Checker will offer suggestions to fix the identified accessibility issue(s). The Accessibility Checker is located on the HTML Editor bar which can be accessed anywhere the HTML Editor is available, including News, Content, Quizzes, Dropboxes, Discussions, and Calendar. To learn more about the Accessibility Checker in D2L, view Using the Accessibility Checker.
Alternative Text (Alt Tags) for Images in D2L
When an image is inserted into the HTML Editor, using Insert Image, users will be prompted to provide alternative text. Alternative text, also known as an ALT tag, should provide a clear text alternative of the image for screen reader users. To learn more about creating and editing alternative text for images in D2L, view Providing Alternative Text for Images and Editing Alternative Text for Images.
ReadSpeaker is a built-in text-to-speech feature for students and instructors. DocReader, powered by ReadSpeaker, is a web-based tool integrated in D2L that transforms documents (in the supported formats) into a text-to-speech format that provides students the ability to listen to the text of course documents as it is read aloud. In addition, docReader provides synchronized highlighting of the text being read so that listeners can follow along.
ReadSpeaker docReader can be accessed within any D2L course. This is a great tool to show students, as many can benefit from consuming course content in multiple ways. Having the option to listen to content spoken aloud can be extremely useful for students with reading disabilities, are new to a language, or simply learn better by listening. To learn more about ReadSpeaker please view the ReadSpeaker section of the eLearning Instructor Resource site.