Print disabilities include visual impairment, blindness / low vision, and learning and reading disabilities. In addition, physical disabilities can make it difficult to hold a book or turn pages. In many of these cases, electronic text as a computer file or web page makes the information more accessible when standards are followed.
Paper documents or electronic documents that contain images of text instead of text can create barriers for someone with print disabilities. Individuals with vision and print disabilities frequently rely upon a screen reader to read text on the screen. Others use screen magnification software and alternative mouse and keyboard input devices along with simple adjustments such as adjusting screen colors and increasing contrast.
UM recommends the following document formats in descending order of the ease of making them accessible.
- Word processing documents: Word processing documents, created with accessible features, are the most accessible.
- Scanned documents: Documents should be scanned only with scanners configured to provide Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
- PDFs: PDFs “saved as pdfs” from well-tagged and correctly headed word-processing documents are acceptable with some additional reading order and document structured editing.
- Web versions of Interactive documents (forms) are recommended over word processing or PDF forms. For example: