Accessible documents

In order for all students to fully participate in a course, everyone needs equal access to information. Accessible documents, presentations, emails and use of Canvas facilitate access for students, including those who use assistive devices such as screen readers and voice recognition software. The benefit of accessible print and digital communication extends to everyone due to their clear, legible, and consistent design. Rather than considering accessibility at the end of course material preparation it can be integrated seamlessly into the process of preparing course materials.

Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) Project

The Inclusive Design Research Centre’s Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) Project offers guidelines for ensuring the accessibility of documents in the most popular office suites. The site provides step-by-step authoring instructions for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat, as well as applications such as Google Docs, iWork Pages, OpenOffice Writer, Corel, Adobe InDesign CS6 and WordPerfect.

To create an accessible office document:

  1. Go to the ADOD website.
  2. Under “Authoring Techniques for Accessible Office Documents”, locate the application you are using (e.g. Microsoft Word 2011, Excel 2010).
  3. Open the document and review the “Techniques” list.
  4. Each technique is explained, described, and shown in detail in the guide.