Making media and images within assessments more accessible

Posted by Noel Thethy

This post is part of the accessibility series I am running. We will look at using media and images in questions and how to ensure these are accessible.

A number of media files can be included in a question/assessment. However, if you are interested in producing accessible assessments you should consider the following:

  • Ensure color is not the only way to distinguish among different pieces of stimulus or answers. Common forms of color blindness (affecting up to 5% of the population) could make answering questions difficult. You should, where possible, change how the information is portrayed or include other indicators.

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When including graphics always include ALT (Alternative) text. This will be displayed when a participant hovers the mouse pointer over an image or if a screen reader is being used.

  • If you are using Adobe Flash media, make sure that it has been created in an accessible fashion.  Refer to the Adobe guidelines for Flash  and Captivate.
  • If you are using video or audio in a question you should include a transcript. You can include a transcript in several ways:
  • Link to a document that includes a transcript (Remember if you are including the transcript as a PDF you should also make sure this is accessible as well. See the Adobe guideline here)
  • Embed a YouTube video, using the Closed Caption feature to include subtitles of any dialog in the video.Provide a video transcript within an assessment, using Questionmark’s Side-By-Side template.

(My advice and recommendations may or may not be suitable for your particular situation, so be sure to take into account your organization’s accepted practices and pedagogy.)

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