Why are documents requried to be made "accessible" ?
Deborah Bucci-Muchmore, a Human Resources Advisor for the Regional Government Services Authority in California, writes:
Making accessible documents and web pages allows individuals who use a screen reader to maneuver through documents, utilize document properties for contact information and document styles to jump from one part of a document to another, to hear descriptions from picture and image tags to help understand the images on the pages, and to have equal access to information that most of us take for granted.
We'd like to offer some information, tutorials, and tips about how accessibility can be included in everything our students are expected to read, watch, listen to, and absorb as they work to achieve their educational goals. Below, you will find the software and technology you and your students will most often use to this end.
Microsoft Office Products
Blackboard includes tools to help make educational content more accessible for everyone. One of the newest tools is ALLY, a system that checks all course materials for common accessibility issues and lets the content creator know what needs to be changed. The Center for eLearning here at Cleveland State University has created a page on their website that will help instructors understand what ALLY is and how it can help make your materials accessible.
Visit the Center for eLearning's page for Blackboard ALLY resources.
An Apple developer page provides this guideline for those who create for their platforms:
Accessibility is not just about making information available to users with disabilities—it's about making information available to everyone, regardless of their capabilities or situation.
- Acrobat and the Portable Document Format (.pdf) Also, see "Creating High Quality Scans" below.
Creating High Quality Scans
- A detailed look at how to make the most of a bad situation: scanning a document for use in class. How to make a decent scan so it can be used efficiently to make an accessible document. Courtesty of the University of Washington.