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Creating Accessible Documents 101

This presentation addresses the basics of digital accessibility for online documents as well as addresses how to start developing a campus-wide plan for addressing document accessibility at a university. This presentation was originally given at the Omni Update User Training Conference in April 2019 and was re-formatted for a poster presentation at the High Ed Web conference in October 2019.

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Creating Accessible Documents 101:
Developing a campus-wide plan for addressing
document accessibility
Rebekah Wright| Southwest Baptist University
- Creating accessible PDFs starts
with accessible source documents
- Procedure change: Ask for the
document instead of PDF when
place a document on the website
- Send back accessible version of
document to original owner
- Re-train yourself
The Basics of Document Accessibility
MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT
• Use Styles tab in Word to create headings
rather than using font options (i.e. bold,
underline, etc.)
• Customize the heading options with your
institution’s fonts, colors, etc.
• Always use headings in proper nesting order
Document Accessibility 101: Heading Styles
CUSTOMIZE STYLES OPTIONS TO MATCH BRANDING
• Input appropriate alternative text for images in
Word
• These will remain intact with the image when
properly converted to a PDF
• Do not rely just on images (or colors) to
convey necessary information
Document Accessibility 101: Images
ADD ALTERNATIVE TEXT IN SOURCE DOCUMENT
• Word will automatically generate a hyperlink
when you enter a full URL
• These are not aesthetically pleasing and they
cause issues for screen readers
• Change the “Text to Display” field to
something meaningful and descriptive of the
link’s purpose or function
Document Accessibility 101: Links
USE MEANINGFUL LINK TEXT
• Accessible tables require a clear table
structure and table headers
• Do not use tables for layout purposes
• You can use the Columns option in the
Layout tab instead
Document Accessibility 101: Data Tables
ONLY USE TABLES FOR DATA, NOT LAYOUT

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Creating Accessible Documents 101

  • 1. Creating Accessible Documents 101: Developing a campus-wide plan for addressing document accessibility Rebekah Wright| Southwest Baptist University
  • 2. - Creating accessible PDFs starts with accessible source documents - Procedure change: Ask for the document instead of PDF when place a document on the website - Send back accessible version of document to original owner - Re-train yourself The Basics of Document Accessibility MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT
  • 3. • Use Styles tab in Word to create headings rather than using font options (i.e. bold, underline, etc.) • Customize the heading options with your institution’s fonts, colors, etc. • Always use headings in proper nesting order Document Accessibility 101: Heading Styles CUSTOMIZE STYLES OPTIONS TO MATCH BRANDING
  • 4. • Input appropriate alternative text for images in Word • These will remain intact with the image when properly converted to a PDF • Do not rely just on images (or colors) to convey necessary information Document Accessibility 101: Images ADD ALTERNATIVE TEXT IN SOURCE DOCUMENT
  • 5. • Word will automatically generate a hyperlink when you enter a full URL • These are not aesthetically pleasing and they cause issues for screen readers • Change the “Text to Display” field to something meaningful and descriptive of the link’s purpose or function Document Accessibility 101: Links USE MEANINGFUL LINK TEXT
  • 6. • Accessible tables require a clear table structure and table headers • Do not use tables for layout purposes • You can use the Columns option in the Layout tab instead Document Accessibility 101: Data Tables ONLY USE TABLES FOR DATA, NOT LAYOUT
  • 7. • Microsoft Office includes built-in accessibility checker • Run this tool to discover accessibility errors and warnings • Also provides helpful tips for making repairs • Use this checker before converting to PDF Document Accessibility 101: Checker Tool USE BUILT-IN ACCESSIBILITY CHECKER TOOL IN WORD
  • 8. • Use “Acrobat” tab in Word • Do not just “Save as…” or “Print to PDF” • Make sure add-in is enabled • Recommended: Latest version of Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Professional DC Document Accessibility 101: Converting to PDF USE PROPER TECHNIQUE FOR CONVERTING TO PDF
  • 9. • Overwhelmed just thinking about the number of PDFs on our main website • Faculty rely heavily on documents and are often resistant to change • How do I even know what needs to be done? And where do I even start? • Disclaimer: This is a work in progress! progress! Creating a Plan WHERE DO YOU EVEN START??
  • 10. • Identify key players and form a digital accessibility committee • Make a list of your institution’s digital assets • Identify potential accessibility issues for each asset • Gather examples from other colleges and universities Creating a Plan: Initial Steps SOMETIMES GETTING STARTED IS THE HARDEST PART
  • 11. • Adaptive versus Technical Change • Technical change = requires you to do something differently • Adaptive change = requires you to think differently about what you’re doing • Define digital accessibility and why it is important for your institution • People need motivation for change • Sense of moral responsibility Creating a Plan: Adaptive vs Technical Change PEOPLE NEED PROPER MOTIVATION
  • 12. • What policies or procedures can change to help prioritize accessibility? • Quick change we were able to implement • Technology Impact Statement • Updated policy on technology procurement • Includes accessibility analysis and requires obtaining VPAT from vendor when assessing possible new technology Creating a Plan: Procedure Changes LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
  • 13. • Research what other schools have done • Determine resources and training needed for addressing the accessibility of digital assets • Dream big – you won’t get it if you don’t ask for it! • Prioritize and draft a rough timeline • Identify possible avenues for training/awareness • Present a proposed implementation plan and get buy-in from executive leadership Creating a Plan: Identify Next Steps WHERE ARE WE AT AND WHERE DO WE NEED TO BE?
  • 14. • Audit your site and make a comprehensive list of PDFs and other electronic documents • Can any of these be presented in HTML instead? • Run an accessibility checker on each document to identify errors and warnings • Prioritize • Start with “low-hanging fruit” • Generate templates for future use • Take time to explain reasons for change Creating a Plan: Addressing Documents TACKLING THE PDF CRISIS
  • 15. • Academia respects expertise – get training! • WebAIM • Lynda • Siteimprove free online courses • Practice what you preach • Always make your documents accessible – even if they are for your eyes only • Contagious enthusiasm • Talk about accessibility incessantly • Befriend the Disability Services office Advocate for Accessibility IT STARTS WITH YOU
  • 16. • Identify possible accessibility advocates across campus • Some will be obvious (i.e. online education) • Notice others who seem to “get it” when you talk about need for accessibility • Equip your advocates • Share training resources • Provide accessible document templates • Help them learn how to talk about this with others in their areas • Share your story through one-on-one conversations Advocate for Accessibility: Bring Others Along IDENTIFY AND EQUIP OTHER ACCESSIBILITY ADVOCATES
  • 17. • What has worked (or not worked) at your institution? • Who have proven to be valuable accessibility advocates on your campus? • What have been helpful training resources for you? “Don’t give up; don’t ever give up!” THIS IS A NEVER-ENDING EFFORT
  • 18. THANK YOU! PLEASE SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK: WWW.SLIDO.COM #0UTC19

Editor's Notes

  1. Introduce myself; my background with accessibility (first introduced to topic at OUTC) “101” is intentional – I don’t have this all figured out! Introduce some basic concepts and then discuss creating a plan to tackle this institution-wide Goal: walk away with at least one golden nugget
  2. Bonus side effect: branding consistency
  3. My original key players: director of marketing, chief technology officer, director of center for teaching and learning
  4. This is where we are at now
  5. Tackle what you can control yourself; reach out to those who can help you; make plan for addressing the stickier situations
  6. Be “that” person who just always talks about accessibility at every opportunity
  7. Business college dean example
  8. This is the song that never ends