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Basic Accessibility for PDF Documents

Step 1: Is There a Better Way to Get the Item?

  1. Search Drake Memorial Library to see if you can get your students to an online version. 
  2. If the library has access, reach out to to find out the best way to get the material into your course.

Step 2: OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and Adobe’s Accessibility Checker

  1. Open “Action Wizard” and a new menu appears to the right.  Click “Make Accessible,” and then “Start.”  The following will help you with the prompts.
  2. Click Tools on the top left.  Scroll down and add both “Action Wizard” and “Accessibility.” 
  3. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC Pro.  Note: If you do not already have Pro, call the IT Service Desk at (585)395-5151 and select option 1, or put in a ticket through the IT Service Desk under Quicklinks. 
    • Add at least a title if one does not exist in the box that pops up.  You may need to uncheck “Leave as is.” 
    • Next, the Wizard tries to recognize the text.  You will need to choose the language. Leave “Searchable image” and “600dpi.”
    • If you just need to post the PDF to Blackboard for students to read, you can choose “No, Skip this Step” instead of creating a fillable form. 
    • To add alternative text to images, fill in as best you can with descriptions like “Portrait of [Author]” or “Weeping Willow, by Claude Monet” when prompted.
    • If you cannot tell which image you are adding text to (i.e. it is not highlighted), skip this step for now by clicking “Save and Close.”  Don’t worry, you will get another chance to add alternative text.
  4.  Once the full check is complete, a new menu will appear on the left to show what issues may still exist in the document.  Expand any list that is in bold type by clicking the plus sign. 
  5. Right click any error and choose “Fix” or “Explain” from the list. Fix will allow you to add alternative text if you have not already done so.  Explain opens Adobe’s online documentation about accessibility, which is extensive and fairly easy to follow.
  6. Two issues will always appear because they need a manual check – Logical Reading Order and Color Contrasts.  For help with these, please see Adobe’s online documentation. 

How can I make a course available to students?

  1. Click on the "Customization" link under the Course Management Section
  2. Click on the "Properties" link
  3. Click on the "Yes" option under the Set Availability Area, then click the "Submit" button. 


How can I copy a course from one semester to the next?

  1. Select the course that contains the content you wish to copy.
  2. In the left menu, select Packages and Utilities and click Course Copy.
  3. Change the Select Copy Type pull down menu to Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course.
  4. Click the Browse button next to Destination Course ID. This will pull up a list of all the courses
    you are currently listed as an instructor for in Blackboard.
  5. Locate the course you wish to copy material into and select it with the radial button. Once you
    have made a selection click the Submit button.
  6.  Directly below Select Course Materials click the Select All button.
  7.  Scroll down to the Discussion Board setting, and select the option Include only the forums, with
    no starter posts.
  8. Scroll to the bottom or top of the page and click the Submit button.
  9. You will receive an email notice when the course contents have finished copying


How can I order captions for my Kaltura Capture Videos?

  1. Log into Blackboard
  2. Go into the “My Media” module.
  3. Click on the actual video.
  4. Look for, and click on, the “Actions” button below the video.
  5. Click on “+Order Captions”
  6. Click on the blue “Order Captions” button that appears.
  7. Select OK at the Thank you! Prompt.


How can I edit captions for my Kaltura Capture videos?

  1. Log into Blackboard
  2. Go into the “My Media” module.
  3. Click on the actual video.
  4. Look for, and click on, the “Actions” button below the video.
  5. Click on “+Caption Requests”
  6. You may have to click on “Refresh list: CLICK HERE to see all Caption Requests for this media"
  7. A table will appear. In the far right of the table in the “Status” column, you should see “COMPLETE” and an “Edit” button. Click the “Edit” button
  8. The video will appear in the center of the screen with a beige text box to the left with the text. Below the video are the controls for playing, and below the control buttons is another beige text box where the editing will actually take place.
  9. Click the green play button to listen and adjust the text below. Use the control buttons to navigate the video as needed. As changes are made here, they will be auto adjusted in the top left text box and should coordinate with the video. Please note: adding punctuation to your text will change how the left text box appears.
  10. Click the “Save” button toward the bottom of the screen to save your changes.
  11. Click the “Approve” button to upload the edited captions to your video file.
  12. Click the “Approve” button in the Approve Job? dialog box
  13. Close the browser window as explained in the Job Approved dialog box
  14.  Refresh your “My Media” web page to test your video captioning

Last Updated 9/30/19

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