Accessible Digital Documents


NOTE: Information about the June 2012 Accessible Digital Documents webinar series

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.

Accessible Documents Articles

Handouts and Presentation

Screencaptures

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.

 

Other Resources

Accessible Digital Documents Resources

Goals Project: Gaining Online Accessible Learning through Self-StudyThe 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.

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:

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

Images

Tables

Forms

Links

Captioning

Web Captioning General Information
Captioners/Captionists
Captioning Services
Captioning Software

Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Training Resources

These resources are found on the Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Training page. If you have difficulty viewing the videos below, use this link to go to the source page.

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.

 


Return to Maine CITE Accessible Web Design page

Revised: 01/20/2014