Taking the Tears Out of Text Language Markup – A Journey


Presented at 11:15am in Plaza Ballroom D on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.



  • Brian Richwine, Senior Accessibility Strategist - Learning Technologies, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Carrie Hansel, Interim Manager, Indiana University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


We will share how a conversation between colleagues from different groups about the frustrations and tedium involved both in adding language markup to multilingual documents and in convincing others to do it led to the development of a language markup tool that makes it pushbutton easy. Advice from varied staff helped improve the tool usability.


Marking up the human text language of text passages in multilingual documents is usually tedious, error prone, and time consuming. Even in mainstream document editors it is difficult efficiently to verify language markup was done correctly. Web based Rich Content Editors (RCE’s) force users to add and inspect such markup in the editor’s raw HTML code views. Convincing non-technical document creators to perform such language markup is next to impossible.

Instructional designers voiced frustration at the manual nature of the language markup process in LMS course content to an alternate media department manager and it was discovered the manager had hacked an easy-to-use language markup tool into the LMS’s editor for their staff to use. The “hack” was shared and the value of it immediately recognized.

The idea was shared among leadership for permission to develop and shared among groups for design suggestions and ideas to promote the tool's wide adoption in online content platforms.


  1. Developing accessible multilingual content tends to be difficult for content creators.
  2. Providing easy and efficient accessibility development tools will lead to more accessible content for learners
  3. Tools for authoring accessible content benefit from multi-perspective collaborative conversations.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Brian Richwine

Brian has a BSEE from GMI Engineering & Management Institute (now Kettering University). He has worked with assistive technology, alternate media, and web/IT accessibility at while supporting the accessible use of learning technologies (LT) at Indiana University for 22 years.

Carrie Hansel

Carrie Hansel is Interim Manager of eLearning Design, Accessibility Liaison for the design team, and a Principal Online Instructional Designer with Indiana University’s eLearning Design and Services. She brings 20 plus years of experience ranging from early intervention to higher education. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from DePauw University and a Master’s degree in Adult Education from Indiana University. Presently, she is in the dissertation phase of my Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology with Indiana University. Her research focus is on the co-design process used by higher education instructional designers and faculty during the online course creation.