[Athen] Making ESL materials accessible for blind students

KRISTA L. GREEAR greeark at uw.edu
Thu Jan 12 11:52:15 PST 2017

We converted about 12 books for 2 different ESL students into braille.

Biggest takeaway - heavily involve the instructor to (a) identify which images will be used and (b) how to describe the images so the answer is not contained in the alt text.

We also had to come up with some formatting standards for these ESL books. We needed to connect with the student and all those involved in production. Here is what we wrote down inour "manual":

* book title, chapter and page range should be at the top of ever file your team creates
* Check if the image is decorative or informative
* If it is decorative, do not include in any form
* Only include informative images that offer additional information and do not reiterate the main text
o Include the actual image and include alt text in the description field of the picture properties
o Enter the image's alt text in the main body of the text, add "Image of" text in front of alt text
Reader's Notes
* Include in double brackets: [[...]]
* Can be used to explain or clarify instructions or tables
* Aim for consistency at all times
* Include page numbers at top of page as usual
* Include all numbered lines or numbered spaces
o Numbered lines appear as individual lines in the Word doc (press Enter)
* Fonts remain consistent: bold stays bold, italics stay italics, etc.
* In the table of contents, do not include the word "Page"
* Include blank spaces
o Enter BLANK in capital letters in the sentence
o Enter blank space modifiers (i.e., numbered or lettered blanks) before the word BLANK (e.g., 1 BLANK, 2 BLANK, etc.)
* Tables should be entered as linear text whenever possible
* Include reader's notes to help clarify if necessary
* Tables in table format will work if there is no other choice
Flow Charts
* Simple - do not include image, just describe in linear format
* Complex - Report to Program Manager. Will need (a) instructor/department's direction about if it's important to include then (b) talk with Dan about how to include it.


Assistant Director
Disability Resources for Students

011 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352808
Seattle, WA 98195-2808
Direct: 206.221.4136 / Main: 206.543.8924
greeark at uw.edu<mailto:greeark at uw.edu>/ http://disability.uw.edu<http://disability.uw.edu/>
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From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Pfau, Jillian
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 11:46 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Making ESL materials accessible for blind students

Greetings colleagues,
And happy new year to you all! I'm reaching out for some suggestions on how to make ESL textbooks and workbooks accessible with JAWS for a completely blind user. These books contain very little text and are comprised mainly of images that are used to depict scenarios the student must describe in English... similar to any other foreign language textbooks.
There is no audio version of these books, so I am starting from scratch with .pdfs. However, any alt text that I might use for the images would essentially give the student the answer to the questions.
If anyone has any experience with remediating materials like this, I would love to hear your suggestions on how to proceed in making these accessible.
Thanks and best regards,
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Disability Support Services
Montgomery College
51 Mannakee St., CB116
Rockville, MD 20850

Tel. 240-567-5224
Fax. 240-567-5097

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