Creating Accessible Documents

Jeffrey Dell
Assistive Technology Specialist
Mary Theobald
Graduate Assistant Alt Text
Office of Disability Services
Cleveland State University
What characteristics will an Accessible
Document possess?
Checking for Document Accessibility
Creating an Accessible Document in:
 Word
 PowerPoint
 Adobe Acrobat
Additional Resources
Alternative Textbooks
The text in the document can be selected by
character or word.
 The selectable text is accurate and matches what is
visible in the document
 The text in the document can be enlarged without
compromising the quality of the text
 Graphical information can be interpreted with a text
Text in some documents is embedded in images
Text embedded in images cannot be read by TTS or
 Most frequently in PDF’s or Publisher Provided PPT
 Check by attempting to Highlight a single Character
or Word
This issue usually happens in PDF documents
Save the file as Plain Text and compare
Activate Read Outloud in Adobe’s View menu
and read Current Page
Fix by running Find OCR Suspects
Check by using the program to Zoom in to
the image or enlarge it to 200% and 400%
If grainy and distorted:
 rescan the image from which it came at a higher
 render a new graphic from the original document
using a higher resolution
 recreate the graphic using scalable vector
To Check for Alt Tags:
 Hold your mouse over the graphic’
 Right-click on the image and look under
Properties or Format Picture
What should an Alt Tag say?
 Describes all important info derived from the
graphic with text
Right Click on the image.
Click on Size.
Select the Alt Tag tab.
Type a description of the graphic in the Alt
Tag edit field.
If using symbols like μ, 98.6°, or € please use
the Unicode character, in the Symbol Finder,
instead of an image
For Math Expressions please use Equasion
Editor or MathType to create the expression
Good because it is scalable and does not
degrade when magnifying
No simple way to creat an Alt Tag.
If necessary type a description of the graphic
before or after the WordArt
Important for Screen Reader navigation
Headings should be nested
Especially important if the document is very
long or if it will be converted into a PDF.
Slide templates built into PPT use elements
Include Headings, bulleted lists, image
Style schemes can be applied that make the
text eisier to read
Used for descriptions too long for Alt Tags
Describe WordArt or SmartArt
Adding info not included on the slide
Describe purpose of data presented
Located below the Slide Layout usually says
“Click here to Add Notes”
If document is .doc or ppt Office should be
used to creat the PDF
Automatically transfers over accessible
elements like lists, headings, and alt tags
Turns SmartArt and Word Art into images
Does not include Notes Panel info from PPT
Office Button and Save As PDF
If scanning a document to creat a PDF use
Adobe Acrobat
It automatically starts to process of making a
document accessible
PDF’s should be scanned at 300 dpi
If scanning from a book grayscale can impeed
Image PDF files can have Text Recognized
with Adobe Acrobat
View > Tools > Recognize Text
Click In This File on the Recognize Text Panel
to the right
Runs basic text recognition which is the
beginning of making a PDF accessible
OCR suspects are errors in text recognition
that Adobe finds
In the Recognize Text Panel click on Find Next
OCR Suspect
Works like a spell check
Options for Not Text, Find Next (Ignore), and
Accept and Find Next
Accessible PDF’s identify elements like
Headings, Paragraphs, Images, and Table
This is done with the TouchUp Reading Order
Highlight object and click on the appropriate
Images are called Figures and Paragraphs are
called Text
An image Tag for Adobe Acrobat is called a
 To give it an Alt Tag to describe the image.
1. Turn on the TouchUp Reading Order Tool
2. Double-click the Figure
3. Type the description in the Alternate Text
dialog and click OK
Student Purchases a copy of the Textbook
Student Brings in the Alt Text Request Form
with the Receipt for the Book and a copy of
the syllabus
We check sources including the Publisher to
get an accessible copy
If not available we scan and create a copy of
the Accessible book
DAISY (LearningAlly or
Word or RTF
Plain Text
Submit Textbooks to the Bookstore at least a
month in advance
Have the book information Title, Author, and
Edition available if a student calls before the
beginning of a semester
Over break leave a generic syllabus with
Textbooks and general outline of materials
needed with your department office
If these materials are not available before a
semester please understand the student may
not have access to the book for the first week.

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