Accessibility and sustainable practice in FLO are an important part of the user experience, and support the usability and accessibility of multimedia products (eg websites). Look and feel enables user (eg student) engagement. FLO has various tools
that facilitate structure and layout.
Accessibility is the practice of making learning content available to as many users across a wide range of options from assistive technologies, such as screen reading software, to interface design, such as navigation, text colour or font choices. Accessibility
is usually associated with designing for users with disabilities, but accessibility practices also benefit other limitations such as mobile devices, slow internet connections, etc.
International Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 specify three levels of conformance: A (lowest), AA and AAA (highest). AA is the minimum legal requirement in Australia and the standard you should aim to achieve. Flinders University is committed
to making its website accessible to all. The corporate website and FLO is designed to be compliant with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Web Content Accessibility guidelines
and aims to meet AA+ ratings.
Academic staff must take all reasonable steps to ensure that online resources are accessible to all students, including those who use assistive technology, and must provide an alternative format where possible.
Good practice guides and tip sheets
Good practice guides and tip sheets have been developed to support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide
a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation. Links to accessibility and sustainable practice related resources are provided below.
Designing your topic for device accessibility is important. Topic content should be accessible across the core web browsers supported by the University (Edge, Chrome and Firefox). Students are also likely
to use their mobile phones to access FLO, so test your FLO topic in your mobile phone to ensure your topic and content can be viewed as expected.
If you are unsure of student experiences using other types of devices and software, check with your local eLearning support team.
FLO site structure and content
Aim: overall topic site consistency within the topic itself and (ideally) the bigger picture (eg within a program). Lack of consistency is an accessibility and usability problem reported
by all students and the FLO starter site is designed to promote consistency.
When creating your topic content, consider these guidelines for accessibility and sustainability:
Use hierarchical headings (large, medium, small) in the HTML editor rather than creating your own or just bolding text. This helps all users ‘sense make’ the site, but particularly those with a visual impairment (the screen reader recognises the hierarchy
and uses it to explain the content). Make sure your headings follow a logical order (medium [h3], small [h4] etc). Use other HTML editor style features for layout (these follow good web practice).
It is important to select accessibility-friendly colours for text. To choose an accessibility-friendly colour for a text (including module heading) select the 'More font colours' button from the HTML editor toolbar menu:
The following colours are available:
Once you select a colour, the change is applied:
You can now save the change. The text is now accessibility-friendly. Using default styles and colours ensures your content is sustainable and less likely to break in future.
Having alternative text (Alt text) in your images is useful for accessibility as it is recognised by text to speech and screen reader software. Descriptive alternative text will provide the user with information when required,
and is not visible when viewing the topic/page normally.
Adding alternative text is dependent on the content and context of the image. It is not required when the image is purely for decoration and does not provide any relevant information to the user. Consider adding it if there is important information
which the user needs to understand.
To add Alt text to your image, put it as part of the image properties when uploading an image. You can add the text under the 'Describe this image for someone who cannot see it' field:
If the image does not need any alternative text, select the "This image is decorative only" checkbox.
Where possible, save the original image (especially if in a raw format) in a shared space for sustainability.
Accessible videos must include captions so they are accessible to all users. Apart from being an important requirement for accessibility, captions have been shown to be helpful for all students. To read more about
how to use and apply captions, please see Video - add captions.
Where possible, save the original raw video project files in a shared space for sustainability.
For further information about the University’s commitment to accessibility, please refer to the Disability Policy.