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Design accessible content


1. Introduction

Use the information in this guide as a starting point to help you create inclusive, accessible content for students using MyBeckett.


2. MyBeckett accessibility

MyBeckett is based upon software called Blackboard Learn. Blackboard Learn currently meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

More information about accessibility compliance is available on the Blackboard website.


3. Assistive software

Assistive software can help students to perform tasks using systems such as MyBeckett. For example, screen masking tools enable students to change the colour of the screen to make it easier to read. Some students may also use screen readers to both navigate and read on-screen content.

Information about assistive software for students is available on the Library website.

Students also have the option to change text size or change contrast via buttons on the MyBeckett login page.

Change text size buttonChange contrast button

Within MyBeckett, there is a Quick Links icon at the top left of every page to help with navigation. Keyboard shortcuts are available throughout the system.

Quick links icon


4. MyBeckett content - tips

  • When considering module or course group design, aim for a simple, consistent structure. For example, you could organise your content by week, e.g. Week 1, Week 2 and so on. This is particularly helpful to visually impaired students using screen readers to locate content.
  • Prioritise important information so that it is easier to find. You could add a module or course group summary the Welcome content area, briefly explaining how you have structured content e.g. use the navigation menu to locate content organised by week.
  • Avoid adding layers of additional sub-folders within content areas. Students have fed back that multiple layers of navigation is confusing.
  • Provide meaningful content names and descriptions. When creating a content item in your module, you can add information including Name and Description. We recommend that you complete both of these fields as the name helps students to locate content more efficiently, and the description provides context and further instructions.
  • Use descriptive file names. Before uploading files to MyBeckett, please ensure that the file names are descriptive of the context e.g. Week 3 lecture - project planning.docx. This is particularly important for students using screen readers, to help identify the correct file to download.
  • If you are uploading files into MyBeckett, check that these are of a high quality e.g. avoid scanned documents. You can use software called SensusAccess to convert files into accessible formats.
  • If you are using images to present information to students, ensure that you have added an alternative text description for screen readers. If you are using images for decorative purposes only, you do not need to add an alternative text description.
  • If you are including hyperlinks in your content, add some text to describe the target of the link. Avoid typing 'click here' as screen readers can provide students with a list of links on a page, and this does not help to differentiate between links.
  • Avoid relying on colour to convey meaning. People see colours differently, and some students may be using a coloured screen mask or contrast settings that change the appearance of on-screen colours.
  • Ensure a high contrast between text and background e.g. black and white. Avoid picture backgrounds for text areas, as this can be difficult to read. 
  • Use a font size of at least 12px and sans-serif fonts e.g. Arial, as these are easier to read.
  • Avoid underlining text as this may be confused with a hyperlink. Use bold for emphasis, rather than varying font sizes.
  • Use heading styles to structure text content. In MyBeckett, the default text style is called 'Paragraph'. You can select text and apply styles called 'Heading', 'Sub Heading 1' and 'Sub Heading 2'. As a note for anyone interested in HTML, these styles correspond to H4, H5 and H6, as H1, H2 and H3 are used for structural elements of MyBeckett pages.
  • If you are using tables to display data, make sure that you include column headings.

The embedded slides below also contain some useful advice for creating content.




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