Creating Accessible Documents

What Does It Mean For a Document To Be Accessible?

Some students need to use assistive technology to read because their disability affects their ability to either see or process print information. These students will typically employ the use of a screen reader to manage written material. The screen or text reader will convert the written words on the computer screen or contained within a document to speech, allowing the student with a print disability to hear the words. The formatting of these documents is critical to the success of the conversion from text to speech.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison has received grant funding to research and identify methods for creating accessible technology. The project, Web Accessibility for All, was funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Included in their site are tutorials with instructions, strategies and suggestions to create files that are accessible through several common programs. Below is a list of the tutorials for:

  • SPSS
  • PDF web cast
  • Office documents video tutorial
  • Web standards and accessibility
  • Evaluation (pertains to web site evaluation)
  • Descriptive text tutorial
  • Alt text tutorial
  • MS Word accessibility features tutorial
  • Power Point tutorial
  • PDF tutorial
  • Structural markup tutorial
  • Design examples
  • And links to other resources