Creating Accessible Electronic Material

Email

Email has become a common way to communicate to the mass population.  Therefore it is important to make sure information sent via email is accessible to all.  When writing an email, it is important to use descriptive text in the subject line, use accessible font (style and size), be aware of the color contrast, provide meaningful text for all Hyperlinks, and Alternative Text for all images, charts, graphs, etc.  Below is a quick How to Guide for Email Accessibility:

Making Email Accessible

Microsoft Word

Most Microsoft programs have built in accessibility checkers and are therefore great platforms for developing accessible documents.  By utilizing the features in Word, such as, the styles tool bar, Alternative Text for images, and meaningful text for Hyperlinks; documents can be created with accessibility in mind then converted to a medium of your choosing.  Below is a quick “How to Guide for Word Accessibility“:

Making Microsoft Word Documents Accessible

Word Accessibility Checklist provides a comprehensive checklist when verifying if a word document is accessible.  Also, utilizing the Accessibility Checker in word will assist with verifying the accessibility of your document.  This is found under File > Info > Check For Issues >  Check Accessibility.

PDF

PDF’s (Portable Document Format) are commonly used and thought to be accessible as most screen readers have PDF readers attached.  However, if the PDF is not Tagged correctly it cannot be read by screen readers and is therefore not accessible.  To Tag PDF’s and bring them up to date on new compliance laws (the 508 Refresh) Adobe Acrobat Professional is needed.  Below is a quick “How to Guide for PDF Accessibility”:

Making PDF Documents Accessible

PDF Accessibility Checklist  provides a comprehensive checklist when verifying if a PDF is accessible.  Specific software is required (Adobe Acrobat Professional) when altering PDF’s for accessibility.  However, creating documents in Microsoft Word with accessibility in mind, then converting to PDF can allow for PDF’s to be read by a screen reader.  However, this still needs to be verified.  When verifying if a PDF meets the new 508 Refresh laws, the PAC 2.0 PDF Accessibility Checker is free to download.

PowerPoints

PowerPoints are the recommended avenue for presenting material.  Microsoft has built in ways to format a presentation with accessibility in mind.  Below is a quick “How to Guide for Word Accessibility”:

Making PowerPoint Documents Accessible

PowerPoint Accessibility Checklist provides a comprehensive checklist when verifying if a PowerPoint is accessible.  Also, utilizing the Accessibility Checker in PowerPoint will assist with verifying the accessibility of your document.  This is found under File > Info > Check For Issues > Check Accessibility.

Videos

Video Accessibility Checklist provides a checklist when checking if Videos (DVD’s, online videos, machines) are accessible.