OSCQR – Standard #36

OSCQR – Standard #36

Text, graphics, and images are understandable when viewed without color. Text should be used as a primary method for delivering information.

Review These Explanations

Learners who have low vision or are color blind need high contrast between the text font and background in order to read. Using color as a highlight may not be readable by all learners, and they can miss out on key concepts if only color is used to make specific information stand out.

According to statistics:

  • 15% of the world’s population have some form of disability, which includes conditions that affect seeing, hearing, motor abilities and cognitive abilities.
  • About 4% of the population have low vision, whereas 0.6% are blind.
  • 7 to 12% of men have some form of color-vision deficiency (color blindness) (O’Connor, 2014).

In many cases, these conditions make it difficult to distinguish colors.


O’Connor, C. (2014, October 22). Everything About Color Contrast And Why You Should Rethink It. Smashing Magazine.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

General Suggestion

Explore Related Resources

This site from Portland Community College is an excellent resource that shows instructors how to make content in your classes accessible to all learners.
Hixon, E., Barczyk, C., Ralston-Berg, P., & Buckenmeyer, J. J. (2016). Online Course Quality: What do Nontraditional Students Value?. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 19(4), 1-12.
Massengale, L. L., & Vasquez III, E. E. (2016). Assessing Accessibility: How Accessible are Online Courses for Students with Disabilities?. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, 16(1), 69-79.
Raths, d. (2016). Your Course Accessibility Checklist. Campus Technology Magazine, 29(5), 24-26.

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OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

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