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Research Guides

Manifold Guide: Accessibility Considerations

Making your project accessible

As the creator of a Manifold project, it is important to take responsibility for making sure your project is accessible. This page provides an overview of accessibility considerations, and you can find more comprehensive instructions for evaluating and improving your project’s accessibility in this UW-created Manifold Accessibility Guide (which is also a Manifold project itself!). Some accessibility considerations to keep in mind are: 

  • Headings: Screen readers use headings to navigate logically through a page, so it is important to use headings in their correct hierarchical order (H1, H2, H3). Best practice is to only include a single Heading 1 (H1).
  • Meaningful hyperlinks: Meaningful hyperlinks tell the user where they are going, especially if that user has a screen reader. “Click here” or a full, messy URL are not meaningful. But something like “Navigate to the full Manifold Accessibility Guide” is!
  • Color contrast: Strong color contrasts make your project more accessible to people with low vision. Unfortunately, the annotations feature within Manifold does not offer high-contrast underlining options, making it inaccessible. There are tools for testing the contrast levels of other texts and resources you upload into Manifold in the full accessibility guide.
  • Captions: Captions make your videos accessible to people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The easiest way to add captions to a video is to upload it to YouTube, which has auto-captioning, and linking out to it from your Manifold project.
  • Transcripts: Transcripts make video and audio accessible to people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, people using screen readers, people learning a new language, and people who need to access your content in a noisy environment. You can transcribe your own media, or use an AI transcription tool like You can upload your transcription as a separate text to your Manifold project, or copy and paste it into the description of a Resource.
  • Alt text: Alt text is descriptive text for images, so that screen readers can communicate the content of an image to users who are Blind or have low vision. When you upload a Resource into Manifold, you can add Alt Text on the Metadata page. If you embed an image into a Google Doc and ingest it into Manifold, you can right click on your image in Google Docs and select “View Alt Text” which will give you options to add or edit descriptive text that will be imported into Manifold along with your image.
  • Checking for accessibility: Ideally we want our digital creations to meet the standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA. A good browser plug-in for testing various accessibility features is Tota11y. To check the accessibility of EPUB files, we recommend Ace by DAISY. Finally, here is a guide for testing PDF accessibility