Web Accessibility Resources

Horry Georgetown Technical College

HGTC Accessibility Quick Guide for Faculty and Staff

This guide is designed to provide faculty and staff with a basic understanding of accessibility requirements as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, through South Carolina Technical College System Policies, and HGTC’s own policy on Services to Students with Disabilities.

Government regulations and institutional policies mandate that the college provide equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  Common disabilities include, but are not limited to, those of difficulty with sight, hearing, or physical impairment.  Recognizing that the college has both an ethical and legal obligation to serve students with disabilities, we can affirm that:

  1. The college must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities.  The Office for Students with Disabilities processes requests and is authorized to determine reasonable accommodations, 
  2. Laws and regulations do not require the college to waive courses or other requirements, lower academic standards, or adopt measures that fundamentally alter a course, and
  3. Communication with persons with disabilities must be timely, equally effective, and in an equally integrated manner as with non-disabled persons.


It is worth noting that the Office for Students with Disabilities and common practices warrant that the college take a proactive approach to accommodations.  This means that:

  1. All content should be made accessible when delivered to a group where the functional limitations are unknown, or someone in the group needs an accessible version,
  2. Planning for accessibility from the beginning of content creation is a great deal easier, both in time and money, than fixing errors after the fact,
  3. It is the responsibility of the content creator to design accessible content,
  4. It is the responsibility of the college to provide content creators with the necessary tools in order to create accessible content, and
  5. Creation of an accessible IT environment is ultimately a shared responsibility between the college and content creators.


With the above information in mind, a quick reference table that identifies common campus technologies, how to make those technologies accessible, and how to check existing content for accessibility is provided below as a resource for faculty and staff.

General Resources
These are comprehensive or cross-technology overview resources of common accessibility concerns and design.

  1. SC Technical College System Web Accessibility Resource Guide
  2. Accessibility.umn.edu: U of Minnesota’s Comprehensive Accessibility Guide with Tutorials and Training Modules for most technologies described on this resource page.
  3. 7 Ways to Make Your Class More Accessible
  4. Designing for Screen Readers
  5. Basic Tips for Large Print


How to Make it Accessible

How to Check if it is Accessible

Downloadable/Viewable Resources


  • Nearly all, if not all, of Desire2Learn’s functionality is accessible.
  • While Desire2Learn’s structure and interface are accessible, content that persons upload to a course are not necessarily.  Depending on the file type, follow the instructions listed in other sections of this table.


  • Include captions.
  • Use an accessible media player, such as Kaltura, D2L Lecture Capture, Youtube for web playback; use QuickTime or Windows Media Player for desktop playback.
  • Note: some content in the video may need to be repurposed in a textual format for people with visual impairments (ex. necessary images, charts, graphs).
  • You should be able to view captions during playback.
  • You should be able to play, pause, fast forward, rewind, and toggle the captions for the video using your keyboard.
  • Information regarding captioning services at HGTC are forthcoming.  Stay tuned for announcements.

Microsoft Word

  • Use heading styles (customizable).
  • use built-in formatting for bullet lists, columns, and tables.
  • Use in-line text boxes.
  • Include alternative text tags for images and hyperlinks.
  • DO NOT save as a web page.
  • PC’s: Run the Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker.  It will guide you through accessibility errors and how to fix them.
  • Mac’s: Create your file with accessibility rules in mind.  Load file on a PC with MS Word to run the above checker.

PDF Documents

  • Use software that creates accessible PDFs, like MS Word or Adobe InDesign.
  • OCR must be run on scanned documents.
  • Use Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Wizard to check document.
  • Fully determining the accessibility of a PDF document is challenging.  The best approach to checking accessibility is to use Adobe Acrobat Pro and follow these steps:
  • choose “full check” under View>Tools>Accessibility
  • Confirm the correct document reading order by selecting “Read Out Loud” in the View menu to have to document read to you.

Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Use built-in slide layouts.
  • Add alternative text tags for images.
  • DO NOT save as a web page.
  • PC’s: Run the Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibility Checker.  It will guide you through accessibility errors and how to fix them.
  • Mac’s: Create your file with accessibility rules in mind.  Load file on a PC with MS PowerPoint to run the above checker.

Narrated Presentations (i.e. Prezi or Prezi style content)

  • Use screen recording software like Camtasia or ScreenFlow.
  • DO NOT share the movie from the software’s export function.
  • SAVE the recording as a standard video file type.
  • FOLLOW the same process as Video.
  • Follow the same process as Video.
  • See resources for Video.

Web Pages

Microsoft Excel

  • Specify column headers.
  • DO NOT use blank cells for formatting.
  • PC’s: Run the Microsoft Excel Accessibility Checker.  It will guide you through accessibility errors and how to fix them.
  • Mac’s: Create your file with accessibility rules in mind.  Load file on a PC with MS Excel to run the above checker.


  • Use MathType to help you write your equations in either MathML, LaTex, or Tex formats.
  • Use MathJax to insert those equations into web pages.
  • When using in MS Word, the MathType equation editor should load when you go to edit the equation.
  • When using on a web page, when you control+click on the equation you should see an option for “About MathJax.”

Google Docs

  • Use heading styles.
  • For read-only versions of a Google Doc, export it to MS Word.
  • DO NOT create PDF files directly from Google Docs.
  • Anticipate that some users won’t be able to participate and edit Google docs online.
  • For users with visual impairments, Google Docs will need to be converted into MS Word documents.  After conversion, use the process for MS Word. 
  • Recognize Google Doc limitations for group projects and plan accordingly for file sharing.


  • Choose an accessible theme
  • Use headings appropriately
  • Add alternative text tags to images
  • Follow the same process as web pages.

3rd Party Learning Technologies

  • Most publisher/third party content suppliers follow accessibility standards in their design.  This includes common resources like MyMathLab, MyCompLab, Cengage MindTap, etc.
  • While most publisher/third-party content will follow accessibility standards, user contributions to these interfaces are not necessarily accessible.  Depending on the file type, follow the instructions listed in other sections of this table.


  • Turning Technologies clickers can be used in accessible ways.
  • Avoid using clicker exercises that are directly tied to grades to avoid compliance issues.
  • For other clicker brands, consult the company website.


For questions or concerns regarding accessible content at HGTC contact the webmaster.

  • Content and design of resource page modified and used with permission from Accessibility at NC State
  • MS Office for Mac does not support the built-in accessibility checker.  Mac users may seek out third party application, such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice that have accessibility support plug-ins if they do not wish to cross-check content on a PC.  However, cross-checking is the most reliable and preferred method.
  • Optical Character Recognition.  This form of electronic conversion of print documents allows scanned text to be interpreted as text instead of an image, which enables screen readers to read PDFs.