To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508, information on our website should be accessible to everybody to create a more welcoming environment.

At CNM, we are continually working to reduce barriers and improve the accessibility of our content. This includes working on setting policy guidelines, reviewing our online content at, and helping our content creators fix accessibility problems.

Making content accessible is not only a compliance requirement, it improves usability for a wider range of people, enables students to accomplish their goals by ensuring equal access to information, and creates a more robust site for search engines.

Content Creation

Before you upload a document, make sure the content meets the following criteria: 

Screen-Readable Text

Create content that can be read aloud by a screen reader. This could be used by a person who is blind or has low-vision. 

  • Use titles and heading styles to assist read aloud systems in separating the information.
  • Avoid headers, footers, and text boxes.
  • Avoid uploading a graphic (picture or image) with multiple lines of text, such as a flyer or handout. Instead, use text from the flyer as content for the web page, event calendar, or social media instead of a graphic with text.
    • A screen reader will only see a photograph and not read any of the text within.
  • Use accessibility checkers on Word and Adobe Acrobat to improve your document's accessibility. 
Short and Organized Pages

Simple pages with short, easy-to-comprehend sentences load faster and work better on mobile devices. This could be used by a person without high-speed internet or the latest computer or mobile device. Please note that a considerable amount of our site's traffic is from mobile devices.

Make sure content is organized logically, with the most important information at the top. Organize content into meaningful chunks. Use built-in headings like Heading 1 for the document title, Heading 2 for major document headings, and Heading 3 for sub-headings under pre-existing Heading 2 content. Keep the paragraph text "Normal" style.

Good Color Contrast

Good color contrast helps to make sure anyone can easily read through our site, especially if a person has color-blindness.

  • Avoid colored text.
  • Avoid using foreground and background colors that can blend together.
  • Use default text colors and styles provided by Microsoft Word or Plone.
  • Use the Color Contrast Checker to determine appropriate color contrast pairs.
Usable and Descriptive Hyperlinks

Make sure hyperlinks are not broken and use descriptive text for link labels.

Do not use "click here" for hyperlink text. Instead, use wording like "Learn more about Financial Aid," "Apply to CNM," or "Register online." Your hyperlinked text should describe what information the linked page will contain.

Numbered Lists and Bullet Points
  • Numbered lists are used for step-by-step processes.
  • Bulleted points are used to separate items and organize information in a more appealing way.
Translations Into Other Languages

Write clear sentences that are easily translatable or include translation through CNM's Language Services. This makes the content accessible to people whose primary language is not English.

Graphics (photos, logos, diagrams)

Make sure all graphics (e.g., photographs, tables) have alternative text (alt-text) descriptions. For example, write the alt-text to include whatever is trying to be expressed with the graphic (e.g., "Main Campus SRC Lawn", "CNM Logo", "Chart showing a 30% increase in student retention from 2020-2021", etc.)

Only use tables for data, not for formatting content. Make sure to have an identified header row, and include a table summary, either as a caption or as alt-text. Do not use merged or blank cells. For more information, check out this page about accessible tables.


Make sure to include video captions on videos or a transcript with sound descriptions (e.g., sound effects) of audio files. These could be used by a person who is Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or who has low vision. Always synchronize the text with the audio and proofread for grammar and punctuation.

Accessibility settings for captions on YouTube and captions on Facebook allow users flexibility to define text color and background color of captions rather than locking a viewer to a specific text color and background if the captions are inserted into the video itself. Viewers can read along with the captions or read the transcript underneath the video when viewed on YouTube’s website.

The best practice which offers the most flexibility is to get a .SRT file and ask the Web Content Team to upload it in the settings area of the video streaming service.

Video Captions

If you need help creating new videos with caption files, contact Media Production Services.

Creating Captions

There are three ways to create captions for a video:

  • You can ask Media Production Services to request your video to get captioning from an outside captioning service, which will produce captions from the audio of the final (ready to publish) video.
  • You can edit auto-generated captions.
  • We can create and edit captions in the video manager inside of our CNM Suncats YouTube account.
Adding Captions to a Video

There are three ways to add captions to a video:

  • Captioning service returns video with captions embedded directly onto each frame of the video (least flexible for accessibility).
  • Captioning service returns a .SRT file (a file containing synced captions for the video)  containing captions to get uploaded with the video file (fastest and most flexible for accessibility).
  • Download the .SRT file from auto-generated and edited captions from YouTube and upload the .SRT file to the Facebook video settings (slower, but most flexible for accessibility).
Auto-generated Captions

Auto-generated captions can be created in YouTube and Facebook, however captions need editing before publishing the video.

Best practices for editing auto-generated captions:

  • describe sound effects
  • synchronize text with audio
  • proofread for grammar and punctuation
Captions in a Different Language

YouTube allows multiple language captions for a single video stream. A setting in the video stream can be toggled to select different language captions. This removes multiple file uploads of the same video.

  • For example, if a video is made for multiple audiences in mind (such as for Global Education promotions), you can get captions made in another language and the captions can be uploaded to the same video.