It is important to keep in mind that accessibility is not a feature to be added after the design of your content. It is a set of principles to be considered throughout the design process.
Creating Accessible Documents
When creating content, there are a few basic steps that should be followed in order to assure your content is accessible. The core steps needed for accessibility are the same regardless of whether your document is in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe PDF, or another document format:
- Use headings
- Use lists
- Use meaningful hyperlinks
- Add alternate text to images
- Identify document language
- Use tables wisely
- Understand how to export from one format to another
For more information, please read the Overview of Accessible Documents
Overview of Accessible Documents
Use descriptive headings to organize the content in a course. Headings are critical when creating accessible content as they provide the ability to directly jump to content and can save assistive tool users hours of time. Keep it simple and use the heading styles provided by the tool you are using.
You’ll learn about:
- Proper formatting in Word
- Adding alt text
- Converting a document to PDF
- Ensuring PDF accessibility
Please see the Accessibility Support for Word website for information on how to make your Word document accessible.
The video tutorials below are within Hoonuit and will require you to login with your NDUS.Identifier and password.
When creating a PowerPoint file it is important to consider things like color contrast, text size, and alternative text for images, charts and graphs. Please see the Creating Accessible Presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint for steps to make your presentation accessible.
Please see the Accessibility Support for PowerPoint website for information on how to make your PowerPoint accessible.
Also available to download is the PowerPoint Accessibility Guide.
Ensure that PDF files are readable by screen readers. Simple methods for "print" or "save" to PDF may create a single image of the file. Additionally, scanning documents to PDF will often result in an image of the file. The screen reader will not be able to interact with or read the image. For details about making accessible PDF documents, see:
PDF Accessibility Standards (Acrobat Pro DC)
Within your course, make sure your links are descriptive. Every link should describe what the user can expect to find when they click on it. Just providing the link with the web address or URL is not considered informative and should not be used.
Only use images that have a purpose and meaning. Otherwise it will create clutter and can be overwhelming to those with disabilities. Add alt text that is simple and describes exactly what the image is.
For example, alt="photograph of a human eye". If the image is a diagram that conveys complicated information, a long description, or textual format of the material is required.
Screen readers do not identify font styles such as bold and color. If you want to give a strong visual cue, make sure to use an accessible alternative like an exclamation mark at the end of your sentence. Screen readers intonate exclamation and question marks which means it won't read "question mark" but will give a questioning tone to the question.
Creating Accessible Audio/Video
Videos should be created and delivered in ways that ensure that all viewers can access their content. An accessible video includes captions, a transcript, and audio description and is delivered in an accessible media player.
- Never allow auto-play
- No flashing content
- Provide captions
- Provide a transcript
- Use audio descriptions
- Choose an accessible media player