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INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS - DOCUMENTS
The focus of these documents is to help you create documents that are accessible to individuals with a visual impairment and that require the use of an assistive technology, such as a screen reader. In addition, you should think about other characteristics your audience members may have and design documents that meet those needs.
Accessibility Tips for Word Documents
- Use built in Styles and Formatting to mark up headers and lists in documents. This provides structure to content visually and when it is read aloud by a screen reader like JAWS.
- Provide alternative text descriptions for images which include: descriptive, decorative and/or charts. Consider purpose, significance and context of image for Alternative text description.
- Provide descriptive labels for hyperlinks (e.g. use Sac State Home Page instead of www.csus.edu).
- Keep tables simple; screen readers read tables from left to right not in the way you arrange your data in the table.
- Make documents available in other formats (PDF or HTML) as needed.
Additional Resources for Word Documents
Accessible PDF files can be read intelligently by screen reader software — software used by the visually impaired to read material on the screen out loud.
Accessibility Tips for PDF Documents
- Before you create your PDF, start with an accessible document (e.g. Word – add alternate text to images and use styles; PowerPoint – create in Outline mode).
- Use the Acrobat “Create PDF” button (appears in the menu bar) to create your PDF file
- Existing PDF files (or PDF files not created using the Acrobat icon) use Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional Accessibility checker to check for and/or fix accessibility problems. Exceptions: Scanned documents or fillable PDF forms, use Acrobat to make PDF accessible.
Additional Resources for PDF Documents
Last updated: June 22, 2011
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