Web Accessibility Resources for Students with Disabilities
PCC and Online Learning are committed to making all of our online courses accessible to students with disabilities. Each new course currently undergoes an extensive accessibility check before it is launched.
If you are unable to access course content due to a disability, please let your instructor know immediately. If the content is not made accessible to you or an equally effective and equally integrated alternative has not been provided, please report the inaccessible content with this complaint form. Online Learning will work with your instructor and Disability Services to remedy the situation.
Accessibility of Microsoft Office Products
And if you run into any problems using assistive technologies with Microsoft Office products, there is a Microsoft Disability Answer Desk you can try. You also can contact the PCC Student Help Desk too.
The best way we have found for a student who is blind to write math is using LaTeX. While this can seem like a daunting task, math instructor Ann Cary has created a simplified list of LaTeX commands for math students who are new to LaTeX.
Using Microsoft Word and employing the MathType and MathPlayer plugins, one can write LaTeX code and check it for accuracy by highlighting the LaTeX code and converting it to MathType using the Toggle Tex command: Alt \. MathType looks and reads like the math language we are all familiar with. The NVDA and WindowEyes screen readers can read MathType in MS Word if you have both MathType and MathPlayer installed on your computer and configured for blindness. If you use a screen reader other than NVDA or WindowEyes, you can export MathType to a web page to read it with JAWS or VoiceOver to check your work.
- Download and install MathType
- MathType is a math editor plugin that can create math which can be read by NVDA and Window Eyes screen readers. Unfortunately the MathType editor itself is not accessible, but it is required in order to read MathType with a screen reader in a word document. It costs about $60 for an academic license, but it’s free to PCC math students and faculty. Ask your instructor for the download code.
- Download and install MathPlayer
- MathPlayer is a free plugin that is required to read MathType with a screen reader in a word document.
- MathPlayer needs to be configured to read for blindness. By default it is configured to read for a sighted person with learning disabilities. The properties for MathPlayer can be found in the Microsoft Windows Control Panel under “MathPlayer Speech” . Read more about the speech and navigation settings for MathPlayer. Here are the settings we recommend for math:
- Generate speech for: Blindness
- Language: English
- Speech style: MathSpeak
- Speech amount: Full
- Subject area: General or Probability & Statistics
- Speech for chemical formulas: Off (H sub 2 O)
- Now you are ready to proofread your LaTeX written equations by using the Toggle Tex command Alt \ to convert LaTeX to MathType.
- To write text If you made a mistake or want to hand in the LaTeX instead of MathType, just use the Toggle Tex command Alt \ to toggle back. Here are some other navigation commands for reading MathType with NVDA and WindowEyes.
- If you use a screen reader other than NVDA or WindowEyes, you can export MathType to a web page to read it with JAWS or VoiceOver to check your work.
- To Publish to a MathPage from MathType, you have to set up a keyboard command. There is no pre-defined keyboard command. You may need sighted assistance to do this.
Using D2L with Assistive Technologies
- Using JAWS with D2L (This documentation was originally created by the Center for Teaching and Learning at Stephen F. Austin State University. We have modified it for PCC’s use.)
- Accessibility in Brightspace Learning Environmment
Using Google Apps with Assistive Technologies
If you log in to Chrome, you can add additional accessibility features.
- Google accessibility products and features
- Get started in Google Docs with a screen reader
- Use a Braille display to read and enter text
- Get started in Google Forms with a screen reader
- Voice typing in Google Docs
Captioning in Online Rooms/Collaborate
If your class requires the use of an Online Meeting Room for real time meetings and you have a captioning accommodation, see the information page for Online Meetings. Suggestions for a successful session and links to help documentation are provided.
If you are a PCC student or staff member, you may download a free copy of the Read & Write Gold toolbar that can assist you with reading, writing, studying and research. Take advantage of this great offer! Find the download and instructions for installation in the Help section of MyPCC.
There are two RWG applications:
- a RWG standalone toolbar that needs to be downloaded from the Help tab/link in MyPCC.
- a Chrome Extension that needs to be enabled. If you log in to Chrome with your PCC credentials, the RWG extension is already loaded.
If using MyMathLab, MyAccountingLab or MyStatLab, with a screen reader, make sure to change to Accessibility mode in Settings.
Improving the Color Contrast on a Web Page
- Google Chrome has an extension that can increase the color contrast on a web page. Simply add the Color Enhancer to your Chrome browser. You may have to log in to Chrome to add this. There’s also a Color enhancer extension. Then when you can’t read a page because it’s color contrast is too faint, open the page in the Chrome browser and use one of these tools to make the page easier to read.
- Firefox also has an extension that will allow you to change the color contrast on a web page. Add the Color Toggle add-on to your Firefox browser. Then open the menu in the upper right corner of Firefox (seems to just be titled, “open menu”), go to Customize. Locate the CT (Color Toggle) extension and drag it to your toolbar on your browser. To customize the color palette, go to the Firefox Tools menu, choose Add-Ons and locate the Color Toggle extension. Click on the Options button for Color Toggle.
- Visolve is a free software (for individuals) that can be used to transform colors on your computer. an iphone, and in your browser.
Changing the Font and Font Color on a Web Page
Fonts and colors are local to your computer. You can download different fonts and use them to override the font settings of a web page in Firefox by following these instructions. You can also override font color choices in Firefox.
People who are dyslexic, might be interested in downloading this font:
Improving Keyboard focus on a web page
Navigating without a mouse can sometimes be frustrating when it’s difficult or impossible to see where you are on the page. This lack of focus, is an easy fix for developers, but a huge challenge for users. This Focus Bookmarklet developed by Paul J. Adams for accessibility testing, actually is a good tool for anyone who needs to see the keyboard focus (where your cursor is on a web page). Just drag the “Focus Bookmarklet” link to your bookmarks bar of your browser, then when you want to activate it, just go to your bookmarks toolbar (Shift+Alt+B) tab to the bookmarklet and press the space bar. I’m sorry the installation of the tool is not keyboard accessible. If you need help installing it, please give us a call at 971-722-4720 or come by Sylvania or any Disability Services office.