Textbooks Analyzed. Types of Issues Noted. Website Structural Accessibility. PDF Accessibility. Common Issues (both formats). Positive Findings. Conclusion.
60 Open Textbooks Analyzed Selected from more commonly taught intro topics. 35 websites (58%). 25 downloadable PDFs (42%). Including selections from five collections: Connexions. Flat World Knowledge. MediaWiki. Open Learn. Open Learning Initiative.
Textbook Accessibility Textbooks available as websites or PDFs must be: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.
Types of Issues Noted Website Structural Accessibility. Due to pre-set formats. Other issues. PDF Accessibility. Common Issues (both formats). Positive Findings.
Issues of Website Structural Accessibility Pre-Set Formats (5 collection sites): Structural markup, e.g. nesting headers, data table title and summary attributes, fixed width (100%). Color contrast (80%). In-page navigation (40%).
(cont.) Data entry using Flash (9%). Reliance on Java scripts (6%). Non-mouse operation (9%). Frames (3%).
Issues of PDF Accessibility PDFs download from a website: If there is a problem with the website that houses the PDF, even an accessible PDF is inaccessible. PDF accessibility features, unavailable in 100% of PDFs examined, including: Tagging and reading order. Searchable text. Fonts allow character extraction to text.
(cont.) Interactive form fields. Non-mouse navigational aids. Specified document or text block language. No security restrictions against AT. Proper tagging and reading order. Alt text.
Common Issues in Both Formats Visual Appearance: Dense text (17% web, 32% PDF). Small font (3% web, 20% PDF). Visual clutter (14% web, 12% PDF). Specific issues with mathematical symbols.
(cont.) Content Organization: Important/less important (14% web, 20% PDF). Organizational flow (14% web, 4% PDF). Lack Table of Contents (12% PDF, plus other issues). Lengthy pages (23% web, 4% PDF).
(cont.) Need Alternatives: Alt text (63% web, 100% PDF, plus additional issues). Color coding (14% web, 12% PDF). Comprehension Level (37% web, 36% PDF).
Positive Findings Five percent of website evaluations and 8% of PDF evaluations were deemed exemplary. Appropriate readability level (3 PDFs). Visual-semantic organization (2 PDFs). Format consistency (2 PDFs). Presentation style (1 website, 2 PDFs). Lack of clutter (1 PDF). Glossary (1 PDF).
CONCLUSION: How to Build In Accessibility? Authors need: Awareness, How-To Knowledge, Professional Assistance, and Incentives.
Selected References Abedi, J., Hofstetter, C., Baker, E., & Lord, C. (2001, February). NAEP Math Performance and Test Accommodations: Interactions with student language background. CSE Technical Report 536. Adobe. (2008). Adobe® Acrobat® 9 Pro Accessibility Guide: Best Practices for Accessibility. Retrieved July 14, 2010, from l Bailey, T. (2009, February). “Rethinking Developmental Education in Community College.” CCRC Brief, Number 40.
(cont.) Grabinger, S. R., Aplin, C., & Ponnappa-Brenner, G. (2008, February). Supporting learners with cognitive impairments in online environments. TechTrends, 52(1), Lighthouse International. (2010). Making Text Legible. Retrieved July 4, 2010, from ible-print-design/making-text-legible US Government. (2010). Resources for understanding and implementing Section 508. Retrieved Oct. 15, 2010 from
(cont.) W3C. (2010). WAI guidelines and techniques. Retrieved Oct. 15, 2010 from tech.html WebAIM. (2010). Cognitive Disabilities: Introduction. Retrieved July 14, 2010 from