Documents and Files
The best way to create accessible documents is to follow the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This Accessibility by Design website has helpful guides on how to create accessible documents for a variety of programs such as Word and PowerPoint.
Consider the following when creating your documents:
- Avoid underlining for emphasis because screen readers interpret underlining as a link.
- Use headings or the Styles tool to identify different sections of a document.
- This improves learner visualization and interpretation by assisting devices.
- Avoid using color to indicate importance (e.g. the homework due dates are in red).
- Avoid using image effects such as Shadows, 3D, etc. A basic image frame is best.
- Avoid blinking text or .GIF files.
- For information meant to elicit a response, use text cues such as an asterisk or the word ‘required’ in addition to bold, italics, or capital letters.
- Avoid abbreviations to avoid confusion when read by assistive technologies, such as using February instead of Feb.
Font styles used in any document, course material, or webpage should be easy to perceive by the reader and enable the reader to understand the formulas, symbols, and characters used.
- Use high contrast text (e.g. black text on white background).
- Use an 11-point or larger font size.
- Font types that are simple and easily-parsed work best.