This week I have been working on how to improve accessibility of resources, focusing particularly on the four commonest issues flagged by Ally in Canvas. I have been working on the BMS Health and Safety course to check its accessibility. I found that while it’s easy to add an image description in the Ally view within Canvas, I wasn’t familiar with how to correct issues within the PDF itself. After a few searches online, I was able to come up with a guide to help others fix these issues. A quick summary is below. You can access the full walkthrough on the FMS Community.
The four commonest issues I found were; a lack of image descriptions, a lack of headings, the lack of document title, PDFs not being tagged.
Find the Original Document
These can be added under image formatting tools in Word and PowerPoint.
Add or Define Headings
Make sure you are using the built-in style galleries and slide templates to format your document. This makes it easier for screen-readers to understand the structure of the information.
Add a Document Title
This setting lives on the ‘Info’ tab of a file – one that I had never paid attention to before!
Tag your PDF
After you have saved your file, you can also export it to PDF from the option on the same menu. Go to the advanced settings area and you can make sure that your PDF maker will include bookmarks and headings.
You can access the full walkthrough for each of these steps on the FMS Community. More information about Ally and accessibility is available via LTDS.
Some new Zoom features have been pushed today, a few of which have some clear benefits for users in FMS.
Share Multiple Programs at Once allows you to share more than one window with your audience, without having to share the entire desktop. This will be particularly useful if you need to go between a PowerPoint and a webpage, or another piece of software. You can now do this without worrying about accidentally having your emails pop up! The windows are arranged on the participants’ screens exactly as you have them arranged on your desktop, allowing you to rearrange/overlap or change their relative sizes. The image broadcast will update as you do this. To start sharing multiple programs, select the screenshare of one window as usual, then hold Ctrl and click on any additional programs you’d like to include. When you’re ready, click ‘share’.
Suspend Participant Activity acts as a sort of emergency brake in case of serious disruptions. You can disable all microphones, screen sharing and videos at once to stop any disruptive behaviour and give yourself time to remove the unwanted user without the pressure of ongoing interruptions.
To update your Zoom client, click on your profile picture/initials in the top right of the main Zoom window and then click ‘check for updates’. Follow the prompts to complete the update.
The full list of changes can be seen in detail on the Zoom website.
We have recently added a page to the FMS Community showing how you can add buttons to your pages. To add a button to your page, you just need to add a little snippet of HTML in the required place, and alter the specifications to suit what you’d like.
The button code is simple to edit following the instructions above, and buttons can be used for a range of purposes, such as navigating forward and back through a course, or links to external resources.
They come in a range of predefined colours, and are automatically formatted to look in keeping with the rest of your content.
Buttons can make your content more visually appealing, and can improve ease navigation through content. If you have a link that you want to stand out, try adding a button to your page!