The responsibility of providing accessible course materials and tests on line for students can be both challenging and time consuming for faculty members. Producing documents that are fully accessible from the start will save you work and time if a newly enrolled student uses specialized technology for equal access.
There are resources available to guide faculty in this process. Here are just a few to check out:
Creating Accessible Documents
- PDF Docs/Forms. To test your PDF documents for accessibility, complete the following steps (in Adobe Reader or Acrobat):
1. Click on the ‘View’ pull-down menu > Read Out Loud > Activate Read Out Loud, followed by the ‘View’ pull-down menu > Read Out Loud> Read This Page Only.
2. If the document reads aloud, but the text is read out of order, adding “tags” to the document may help. In Adobe Acrobat, choose “Advanced” > Accessibility > Add Tags to Document. (This command adequately tags most standard layouts so text-to-speech software reads the PDF in the correct order, but it cannot always correctly interpret the structure and reading order of complex page elements.)
Note: If your PDF document can be read aloud when you activate the Read Out Loud feature, then a student using a screen-reader would be able to access the content. If it does not, the document is essentially an image and screen-reading software will not be able to access the information. http://ati.gmu.edu/
- Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo’s website on best practices for document creation: http://www.accessibility.calpoly.edu/instmaterials/document_creation/best_practices.html
- How-To.gov’s website on creating accessible PDFs: http://www.howto.gov/web-content/accessibility/create-accessible-pdfs
General Accessibility Resources
- Penn State’s AccessAbility website: http://www.accessibility.psu.edu/
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0): http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
- WebAIM accessibility information: http://webaim.org/articles/
If you have any questions or would like to suggest some resources, please contact email@example.com.