How to egghead

Accessible Speech

The use of vague words in screencasts can make them unclear particularly to those that might be visually impaired.

When you get started teaching programming concepts in this format it can be easy to reference a variable or function on the page as ‘this’ variable or ‘over here in that function.’

You’re pointing to it on the screen or even highlighting it so that should be enough, right?

Some learners might get lost in a code example or have difficulty seeing the cursor as it moves around so being as clear and explicit as possible with your words will help everyone stay focused on what is happening on screen.

There are quite a few ways you can be explicit as you teach in a screencast but here are a few suggestions to use:

  • Call out the names of the variables and functions that you reference
  • Reference the line number in the file you jump to
  • Name the file you just switched to

An added benefit of this approach is that it makes the transcripts that are created from lessons a whole lot more accessible. When you read through the transcript, you lose the context of where the cursor is or what was just highlighted so references to 'this' (not the programming concept) and 'here' will immediately confuse the learner as to what is going on.

For further reading please see Accessibility at Conferences as a speaker