Software used in this instruction set: Microsoft Word 2013, 2016 or Microsoft Word 365 Word App & Adobe Reader
The key to creating accessible documents is to use the STYLES and INSERT tools when creating your document.
In the document each Title, Subtitle, Heading etc. should be changed to the “style” that matches its function. MS Word allows a user to create a personalized style set so you have control of the visual aspects of your document, i.e., font type, size and color.
If you are using embedded pictures, clip art or tables you will need to use the Insert tools, instead of using “copy/paste.” This feature allows you to add “tags” to your images which are essential for low vision and/or blind students using screen reader tools. Below is a quick list of “how-to” tutorials for using these tools when creating or updating your documents.
The final step of creating an accessible document is to add the title and save it as an Adobe PDF file, run an accessibility report and adjust and/or add tags as needed. This also means that all the online documents loaded into your course will be in .PDF format. All students have access to the free Adobe Reader at http://www.adobe.com
To add the title to the document navigate to the File tab and find the properties list on the far right of the screen, add the title here. You can also add additional information here:
To save this document as a .pdf navigate to the File tab and select Save As. Choose where you want to save the document, name the document, then select .pdf in the more options menu:
By following these steps your document is ready to add to your online course environment. If a student needs additional assistance with accessing these documents, they will get help directly from Disability Support Services.
- Open Microsoft Word 2013 or 2016
- Create/edit the document using “Styles” for titles, headings etc.
- Always use “Insert Images” for adding photos or pictures to the document
- Save document as a Adobe PDF > Select OPTIONS > Select “Create PDF/A-1a:2005 compliant file” > Select OK
- Use this new PDF document as your accessible content in Blackboard and/or eWolf environments
To Check your Document:
- Open new PDF in Adobe Reader
- Select View > Read Outloud > Activate Read Outloud
- Select Read Document
- Listen for flow and understanding, edit original Word Document as needed and resave to PDF for use.
- Using Styles (Atomic Learning Tutorials)
- Log in using UA username & password
- Word 2013 – Intro Training
- Using Styles
- Learn how to effectively use the Styles tool in Microsoft Word
- Creating a style
- Learn how to format your own style set, example: set TITLE font, size and color of your choice to use in your documents.
- Modifying a style pt. 1
- Modifying a style pt. 2
- Removing a style from the Styles gallery
- Deleting a style
- UAA Microsoft Office 365 and software licensing information
- How to save a Word doc as a .PDF
- Adobe: Best Practices for PDF Accessibility
- Example “Getting Started” Instructions regarding accessible content
- Download and Print: Quick Steps Instructions with Images (PDF)
If you would like additional training or help with creating online course content, contact:
Academic Innovations & eLearning