Accessibility Tips

We are committed to making our website accessible to the widest possible audience, including individuals with disabilities. 

Before submitting an attachment to be added to your site, first ask yourself if it is necessary to have this information as an attachment or if it could be integrated into your site as an html page. If it still serves the audience best as a downloadable doc, PDF, jpeg, etc., please make sure that you follow these tips to get you started.

While these tips are handy, they do not guarantee accessibility. We recommend you contact the Office of Accessibility Resources for training and consultation.

Tips

  1. You must have the following software:
    1. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: Use Microsoft’s built-in accessibility checkers to check your documents.
    2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Use Acrobat’s built-in accessibility checker to check your PDFs.
  2. When creating a new document, consider avoiding certain design techniques often used in print (e.g., text boxes, call outs, images that contain text). The more heavily designed a document is, the harder it will be to make it accessible.
    1. Never save a document as an image-only PDF. Instead, Export to or Save as PDF; never print to PDF.
    2. Add a title to your PDF in Acrobat Pro under File > Properties. In Word, go to File > Properties > Summary.
    3. Include alt text for images.
    4. Use appropriate document structure when creating documents whether you plan to convert them to PDFs or not.
      1. Use built-in headings and styles.
      2. Nest headings and subheadings appropriately.
      3. Avoid placing content inside text boxes.
      4. Make your hyperlink text descriptive and meaningful. Don’t name the link “Click here”, “Click on the link,” or “Read more”. Instead use the title of the destination document as the name for the link if appropriate, or some other descriptive and accurate link language.
      5. Create columns, lists, and tables using the appropriate column, list, and table tools.
    5. Color should not be the only means of conveying information. Ensure colors have good contrast and pass the color contrast requirements.
    6. Use Microsoft and Acrobat accessibility checkers to verify documents. In some cases, it may be easier to recreate the original document following the above tips. Simplifying your layout will make it easier to make it accessible.