Accessible Digital Documents
This resource provides information about common office documents and accessibility. It was developed as a supplement to our Accessible Web Design page when we realized that much (if not most) of what gets posted on the web either starts out as a simple document, created by a word processor or other office suite product, and is then converted into a web page, PDF or other web-based resource. Often in this conversion process, accessibility is not taken into consideration and the final result is a web document that cannot be used by all. This is particularly problematic in large organizations where there are many content producers. It is important for content producers - especially those creating content that will be sent out to the public - to ensure their document are accessible to all.
We are also concerned that office documents that are used "in house" or shared with others as attachments, need to be accessible to all.
To this end, we have created this resource which provides information and resources to help you create accessible documents.
We begin with a series of articles (from 2007 - 2010) about creating accessible documents originally written for the Maine State Office of Technology (OIT). In 2011, we began the process of revising the articles to bring them up to date.
All of the articles are here as a resource to support anyone interested in learning more about this topic. As the technologies change, and we learn more about accessible documents, we will post that information here as well on the jebswebs blog.
- Article 1: Accessible Word Processor Documents - Revised
- Article 2: Accessible Spreadsheet and Presentational Documents
- Article 3: Portable Document Format (PDF) Files and Accessibility
- Article 4: Portable Document Format (PDF) Files and Accessibility - Part II (legacy PDFs and PDF Forms)
- Article 5 - General Considerations about Web-based Communications
- Article 6 - Media Documents
- Article 7 - Web 2.0 Applications and Accessibility
- Article 8 - Social Networking and Accessibility
- Article 9 - A Look at the Future
- Article 10 - Learning Management Systems
- Article 11 - Accessible PDF - Revisited
- Article 12 - Microsoft Office 2010 and Accessibility - revised
How to use the "Accessibility Checker" in Adobe Acrobat Pro X- This video (MP4 format - requires plugin) demonstrates how to check a newly created PDF document made from a MS-Word document for accessibility. In the video, the Accessibility Checker finds that the Alternative Text for an image is missing. The demonstration continues showing how to highlight the image in question using the Object Editor and adding the Alternative Description. The demonstration ends with a re-check of the file to assess accessibility. You may also view this recording on YouTube.
- How to insert an image into a MS-Word 2007 document (Requires Flash plugin) [Close captioned]
- How to add ALT text to chart in MS-Excel 2007 document (Requires Flash plugin) [No Audio]
- How to add ALT text to an image in MS-Powerpoint 2007 document (Requires Flash plugin) [No Audio]
- How to add ALT text to an image in Adobe LifeCycle Designer (Requires Flash plugin) [No Audio]
Accessible Digital Documents Resources
The National Center on Disabilities and Access to Education - Goals Project has developed a new set of resources, or “cheat sheets” to help assist individuals in the quest to create accessible content. GOALS currently has four cheat sheets available, addressing the following topics:
- Creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- PDF conversion in Microsoft Word
- Creating accessible PDF documents in Acrobat X
Each resource is a single page, and is intended to be printed.
- View the cheat sheets (PDF)
- New resource for MS Word for Mac (2011)
- New resource for MS PowerPoint for Mac (2011)
Keyboard Shortcuts - MS-Office
Many individuals navigate on their computers without a mouse or pointing device. This may be done with a traditional keyboard, a modified or specialized keyboard or through a combination of switches. Here are some resources listing the keyboard combinations to activate various features or navigate through digital documents created in one of the applications in MS-Office:
- Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook 2010 - from Microsoft.
- Keyboard shortcuts MS Excel (2010-Windows) from Wall Street Training. -
- Keyboard shortcuts MS Excel (2011-Mac) from Wall Street Training. -
- Keyboard shortcuts MS Word (2010-Windows) from Wall Street Training. -
- Keyboard shortcuts MS PowerPoint (2010-Windows) from Wall Street Training. -
Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University
- Accessible Digital Office Document (ADOD) Project - The Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) Assessment Framework is a mechanism, based primarily on the WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 1.0 Recommendations of the W3C, for assessing various aspects of office documents and office applications related to accessibility.
Web Site Development Resources
These are the resources directly related to Article 5 - General Considerations about Web-based Communications
- WebAIM - Appropriate use of alternative text
- Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS) - Writing good ALT text (Excellent summary with place for comments)
- Wikipedia - Alternative text for images
- Jim Thatcher - text alternatives for images
- Webcredible - Writing effective ALT text for images
- Web Design Group (WDG) - Use of ALT texts in IMGs (Warning: this is long, complicated, and a bit dated)
- WebAIM - Creating Accessible Tables
- Jim Thatcher - Accessible tables
- Accessify - Accessible Table Builder (actually builds the code for you)
- evolt - Building Accessible Tables(old but interesting)
- Maine CITE - My own example of layout tables and an example of a Data table
- WebAIM - Creating Accessible Forms
- Web Standards Project - Accessible HTML/XHTML Forms: Beginner Level
- Jim Thatcher - Accessible Forms
- HTML Dog - Accessible Forms
- A List Apart - Prettier Accessible Forms (lots of CSS if you are interested)
Web Captioning General Information
- Maine CITE Captioning Video
- Universal Design in Maine blog
- Media Access Group at WGBH Boston
- National Captioning Institute
- Joe Clark’s website
- Caption it yourself...
- Automatic Synch Technologies
- CC Maker
- Captionate – Flash video
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders
- National Association of the Deaf - When is captioning required?
- Video Caption Corporation
- CPC Home of e-captioning
- SynchriMedia - MovieCaptioner for Mac
- Universal Subtitles (free)
- Auto Captioning on YouTube
- Easy YouTube caption creator (from accessify.com)
- 22 Frames
Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Training Resources
- Using accessibility features within Acrobat 8(SWF, 11.3M)
- Assessing PDF files for accessibility (SWF, 7.5M)
- Creating accessible PDF files (SWF, 16.4M)
Check out the Acrobat Users website as well for training as well as great ideas on making your PDFs accessible.
Additional Training Documents
There are a number of additional training guides and resources on this Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Training resource page. I recommend visiting that site and downloading these for your reference.