Seven Steps to Accessible Documents
Accessibility is a process. Making any document accessible, including syllabi and other important course materials, takes seven easy steps.
- Format your document using styles.
- Got images? You need alternative text.
- Tables in your documents.
- Utilize descriptive hyperlinks.
- Color for emphasis.
- Consider color contrast.
- Keep your fonts simple.
A person with a visual disability uses an assistive technology called a screen reader. A screen reader can assist a user in two ways. The first is that it allows a user to decipher what is on the computer through reading or speaking the contents. The other way is through translating the content on the computer to a braille reader, which is a separate piece of hardware that is attached to the computer. Following these steps allows a person with a visual impairment who utilizes a screen reader to better navigate and understand your meanings in your syllabus.
Because a screen reader does not use a mouse, documents and/or information on the computer screen must be navigable with commands on the keyboard. Each screen reader has specific commands to help the user navigate the document or page.
The Seven Steps to Accessible Documents take into consideration the navigation and abilities of a screen reader, ensuring accessibility for people with and without disabilities.