Accessibility and Universal Design refer to the practice of creating digital tools, technologies and resources that are usable by people with all abilities and under a wide range of circumstances.
The Pressbooks platform is designed to support accessibility. When creating a textbook in Pressbooks, compliance with accessibility standards at the content level rests with the author of the book. Make your book accessible and inclusive has further information.
UQ resources on creating accessible content:
- Web accessibility guidelines
- Create accessible content guide
- Awareness of digital accessibility course (UQ staff login required).
Pressbooks offers a variety of publication formats for books, including:
- Web book (the website version of the book hosted on UQ’s Pressbooks site)
- PDF (for printing)
- EPUB (for Apple iBooks, Kobo and most other ebook platforms).
A variety of formats enables students and other readers to choose the best format for their needs.
It is important to ensure your book content is accessible. This checklist is a guide to what you need to think about as you add content.
- Content is organised under headings and subheadings.
- Headings and subheadings are used sequentially. Heading 1 is used for the Chapter title. Heading 2 should be the used for the title of each section. Under the heading 2 any paragraph headings should be 3 and so on. If you start a new section it will start again at heading 2.
- Note: If you are using a Two-level table of contents structure for your book you will have to use heading 1 for each chapter subsection. The Two-Level TOC option is available under the Global Options Appearance settings.
- Images that convey information include alternative text (alt text) descriptions of the image’s content or function.
- Graphs, charts, and maps also include contextual or supporting details in the text surrounding the image or have a long description.
- Images do not rely on colour to convey information.
- Images that are purely decorative do not need alt-text descriptions. Descriptive text is unnecessary if the image doesn’t convey contextual content information.
- Use descriptive links. Do not use generic text such as “click here” or “read more.” Example of a descriptive link in a sentence – The Create accessible content guide explains more about why accessible content is important.
- Include the title, format and size of different content types (e.g. YouTube, 2m35s or PDF, 150KB).
- When you embed a video also include a link to the video above or below it. Example – Watch Create and edit a Chapter (YouTube, 1m50s).
An example of how to create an accessible table.
- Tables include row and column headers.
- Row and column headers have the correct scope assigned.
- Tables include a caption.
- Tables avoid merged or split cells.
You can use the TablePress plugin – you can add content to the tables manually or import files to create the table (which can save a lot of time).
Video and audio
All video and audio content have captions and a transcript available. YouTube and other platforms will usually make a transcript available.
If you use an audio file, you may need to add a transcript to your book.
- Check the contrast of the colours for users who have low vision or colour blindness.
- Regular text must have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 (WCAG Level AAA). This includes images, links, icons, and buttons as well as text.
How to choose colours:
- Make use of the UQ brand colour palette – UQ Brand Guidelines are available from the UQ Digital Asset Manager (DAM).
- Adobe Color has an online colour contrast checker.
- W3schools has a colour picker to find the RGB or hex code of colours.
- Formulas have been created using MathML.
- Formulas are images with alternative text descriptions, if MathML is not an option.
Adapted from the Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition by BCcampus, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.