Bakersfield College

Accessibility Resources

Accessibility Regulations

Accessibility Requirements

Guides for Creating Accessible Documents

More Resources for Creating Accessible Content

California Community College Technology Center

The California Community College Technology Center, provided by the California Community Colleges, includes articles and resources.

Alternative Text (alt-text) Guides

Adding alternative text (alt-text) gives a short description of an image for screen readers and when an image does not load properly. Writing alt-text can be tricky. Here are some quick tips and resources to learning to writing alternative text properly.

Tips for Alt-Text

  • Alt-text depends upon the context and surrounding text.
  • Make it descriptive and succinct of the meaning the image conveys.
  • Keep it to 120 characters or less.
  • Avoid images with text, but if you have to use one, the text needs to be in the alt-text.
  • Do not start with “image of” or “picture of”.
  • End with a period so the screen reader will pause.
  • Do not repeat what is in the surrounding text.

Resources for Alt-Text

Captioning and Audio Descriptions

Recommended Reading for captioning and audio descriptions:

Captioning Guidance

The Captioning Key offers guidance on captioning from Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP):

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are intended to provide blind and visually-impaired users with additional information about what may be happening on-screen. For instance, including speaker identification or on-screen instructions so that the screen reader will read words in the video. If the information is not in the audio track, then include this information as an audio description, including directional cues and other on-screen information, in the captioning.

The Description Key from the Described and Captioned Media Program provides guidance for writing audio descriptions, including what to describe and how to describe on-screen information:

Bakersfield College faculty and staff, read below for further guidance on producing captions for videos at Bakersfield College.

Accessibility Checkers

A word of caution on accessibility validators/checkers. They catch some mistakes, but they cannot replace human review. For instance, they can check if you are using headers in the wrong order, but cannot check if you missed tagging a heading as such. If you find yourself bolding 1-3 words at the top of a paragraph or list, it is probably a heading and needs the appropriate tag. Definitely use validators/checkers, but in addition to reviewing the content for accessiblity.

Web page checkers

These validators or checkers help catch accessiblity errors on your web pages.

Document Checkers

Unfortunately, there are no free document checkers. However, there are tools within Word and Acrobat for checking your documents for accessibility.

Faculty & Staff Resources

Accessibility Statement for Syllabi

Include the following statement, approved by the Bakersfield College Curriculum Committee, in your syllabus about accommodations:

Bakersfield College recognizes the importance and benefits of using technology to enhance student learning, especially as it helps students, faculty and staff communicate more effectively. Every effort will be made to ensure that the design of instructional material and activities for ALL classes taught at Bakersfield College, both face-to-face and at a distance, are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.

DSPS Resources for Faculty

Online Hub

When you need help preparing content for your Canvas courses, go to the Online Hub. The Online Hub staff and faculty are located in the Library, bottom floor in the southwest corner, and are available to assist faculty in preparing thier content for Canvas.

External Training Resources

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) has provided staff and faculty with a resource for professional development which includes many tutorials on accessibility. Create an account at the Vision Resource Center to access the following titles:

External Document Services

For complex documents or when you have numerous documents to make accessible, it may be more efficient to outsource the tagging of your PDF documents. The CCCCO recommends the vendors below. Services are at the expense of your department.


All media, including video and audio, must be captioned. Captions must be 99% accurate for the sounds and speech on all videos.

Captioning Your Own Material

BC recommends YouTube for storing and captioning your videos.

Captioning Purchased Media

No captions on a video you purchased? It must be captioned to use in any class. You must request permission from the copyright holder before it can be captioned. The process is can be long and it may be cheaper and easier to purchase a more modern video. The process for captioning purchased media is:

  1. Contact Kristin Rabe, Media Services for assistance with this process.
  2. Complete the Captioning Permission Request form and send to the copyright holder.
  3. Once permission is granted, Kristin will send to an outside vendor for captioning.
  4. Payment for captioning may be covered by the Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Grant (DECT), if your video does not qualify, your department will be charged for the captioning service.


An accurate transcript is required for all pre-recorded audio. When including audio content, you must include an accessible transcript.

Kern Community College District