Creating Accessible Content
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.
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 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 Creating Accessible Digital Content
Creating Accessible Documents in Word
Microsoft Word is a commonly-used application among individuals with a variety of
disabilities, and is reasonably accessible. The text within Word documents can be
read by assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille devices. However,
in order for Word documents to be fully accessible, authors must follow several core
principles. Please see the
Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word for basic steps to implement these core accessibility principles.
Resources for Microsoft Word
Creating Accessible Presentations in PowerPoint
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.
Resources for Microsoft PowerPoint
Creating Accessible Spreadsheets in Excel
Creating Excel workbooks and charts with accessibility in mind allows for content
that is accessible to all users and more readily understandable to those using assistive
technology such as screen readers. Please see
Creating Accessible Excel Documents for steps to make your spreadsheets accessible.
Please see the
Accessibility Support for Excel website for additional information on how to make your Excel documents accessible.
Creating High Quality Scans
Sometimes it is necessary to scan a document for an instructional need. When documents
are in electronic form, they are easier to distribute and can be more accessible than
print documents for students with disabilities. However, in order to be fully accessible,
certain steps must be followed to be sure the scanned document is of high quality.
Even if a document is not needed for a person with disability, a poor scan often negatively
impacts the end user’s experience. See the
Creating High Quality Scans document for details.
Creating an Accessible Syllabus using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat
This section covers how to create an accessible syllabus using Microsoft® Word and
Adobe® Acrobat® Pro. Users will be shown how to format, check, and convert their document
in order to maintain accessibility for all learners. Although the example we use is
a course syllabus, the skills you learn are transferable to other types of documents.
Proper formatting in Word
Adding alt text
Converting a document to PDF
Ensuring PDF accessibility
The video tutorials below are within
Infobase/Infobase and will require users to login with your NDUS.Identifier and password.
Please see the
Accessibility Support for Word website for additional information on how to make your Word document accessible.
Creating Accessible Audio/Video
Videos should be produced and delivered in ways that ensure that all members of the
audience can access their content. An accessible video includes captions, a transcript,
and audio description and is delivered in an accessible media player. See below for
more details about each of these features.
Captions are text versions of the audio content, synchronized with the video. They
are essential for ensuring your video is accessible to students, employees, and members
of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also help non-native English speakers
to understand the video, make it possible to search for content within the video,
and help all students learn the spelling of technical terms spoken in the video. How
you add captions, and the types of caption file supported, depends on where your video
is hosted. Please note some products provide automatic captioning but they are not
100% accurate and sure be edited.
For specific instructions on adding and/or editing captions, select one of the following
Audio description is a separate narrative audio track that describes important visual
content, making it accessible to people who are unable to see the video. Individuals
who are blind can understand much of a video’s content by listening to its audio.
However, if a video includes content that is only presented visually (e.g., on-screen
text or key actions that are not obvious from the audio) this visual information must
be described in order to be accessible to people who are unable to see it. For assistance
with audio descriptions please contact
Disability Services for Students.
Using Screen Readers to Evaluate Content Accessibility
If you are uncertain how your content will be read by a screen reader, we recommend
using one of the free screen readers listed below to hear how the content will be
NVDA for Windows Voiceover for Mac