As much as possible, the ultimate goal is ease of access to information. Most documents can be made at least minimally accessible with the techniques listed below. In general :
- PDFs that display text as an image are completely inaccessible to anyone with a print disability. (Read more about working with inaccessible, image-based pdfs.)
- PDFs or other documents that are text-based are partially accessible. For example, Word, Excel and some Powerpoint documents are already text-based.
- Tagged, text-based documents are the most accessible. (Read the directions below to tag your text-based document.
Create accessible Word documents using these simple steps:
- Organize your information in logical fashion so that readers can follow it.
- Structure the text with heading styles and lists.
- Provide alternative presentations for potentially inaccessible items such as images (alt tags), complex tables and media with sound (captions).
- Add a Table of Content to long documents.
- Double-check what you've done against:
- known experts in the field or organizational experts (usually someone with a disability is the best option)
- standards, best practices and automated checkers
- Invite comments and criticisms and be willing to modify what you've done.
- Save it "as pdf" from Word if needed.