Accessible Digital Documents

Digital DocumentsThis resource provides information about common office documents and accessibility. It was developed as a supplement to our Accessible Web Design page when we realized that much (if not most) of what gets posted on the web either starts out as a simple document, created by a word processor or other office suite product, and is then converted into a web page, PDF or other web-based resource. Often in this conversion process, accessibility is not taken into consideration and the final result is a web document that cannot be used by all. This is particularly problematic in large organizations where there are many content producers. It is important for content producers – especially those creating content that will be sent out to the public – to ensure their document are accessible to all.

To this end, we have created this resource which provides information and resources to help you create accessible documents.

Table of Contents

  1. Training.
  2. General Resources.
  3. PDF Conversion Tools.
  4. Accessible Web Resources.
  5. Podcasts.
  6. Video Captioning.
  7. Description.
  8. More Captioning Resources.
  9. E-Mail and E-Newsletters.

Training

Maine OIT – Lunch and Learn

AT3 Webinar on Accessible Podcasts and Video

UMF Assisitive Technology Summit

Connecticut – Achievement Through Assistive Technology Conference

 

Recent webinars from Maine CITE and Maine AEM Programs

General Resources

The following list of on-line resources was developed with assistance from all of my good friends on the WebAIM Web Accessibility Listserv. Thank you!

Make your Google Docs More Accessible – An article written by Diana Benner from the Texas Computer Education Association which explains to educators that there are “many things we can do to make our Google Docs more accessible to our students.” The article cites specific steps and directions (including screen shots) on how to adding accessibility functionality and discusses international accessibility standards.

WebAIM: Word and PowerPoint Accessibility Evaluation Checklist – The following checklist uses the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office 2016 and newer. Link to additional  Word and PowerPoint articles are available on this website for more information on using the checker and creating accessible electronic documents.

The National Center on Disabilities and Access to Education – Goals Project has developed a new set of resources, or “cheat sheets” to help assist individuals in the quest to create accessible content. GOALS currently has cheat sheets available, addressing the following topics:

  • Creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • PDF conversion in Microsoft Word.
  • Creating accessible PDF documents in Acrobat X.

View the cheat sheets – include Microsoft, Adobe and YouTube products…

Microsoft has published an extensive resource designed to assist users in making MS-Office documents accessible. View Creating accessible Word documents…

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Resource Roundup, links to resources on ICT accessibility that address many different aspects of the topic. Each has a brief description that captures some of the highlights that you will find in the website that the link points to.

Section508.gov has published a list of downloadable articles that describe methods for creating accessible digital documents using a variety of office products. View Create Accessible Electronic Documents…

Information Technology for Minnesota Government has posted resources on accessible digital documents.

Creating Accessible Documents – University of Washington.

Document Accessibility Course from WebAIM. New (fee-based) courses start every month.

Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word 2016 – Syracuse University.

Creating Accessible Documents – Case Western Reserve University

Keyboard Shortcuts – MS-Office

The following are a set of support documents from Microsoft.

Many individuals navigate on their computers without a mouse or pointing device. This may be done with a traditional keyboard, a modified or specialized keyboard or through a combination of switches. Here are some resources listing the keyboard combinations to activate various features or navigate through digital documents created in one of the applications in MS-Office:

PDF Conversion tools/services

Below we have pulled together list of some “tools and services” that can assist in this process of converting PDFs to accessible digital documents. Thanks to Jiatyan Chen of Stanford University, Damian Sian of Princeton University and Tristan Price of Mt. Hood Community College who generated the initial list. Thank you to Krista Greear at Inclusive Instructional Design for some recommendations. No endorsement of any of these products implied.

Conversion SERVICES

EnablePDF – Open Access Technologies – This remediation service is delivered via the internet. They take example documents from clients, perform compliance analysis against the WCAG 2 and PDF/UA standards, and re-mediate the files to meet those standards. Clients will able to submit similar PDF documents in bulk to the service, which will make them accessible and return them to the client.

SensusAccess – SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution for educational institutions. SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible and less tricky formats.

CommonLook – NetCentric Technologies, a global leader in document accessibility, provides software products and professional services enabling faster, more cost-efficient, and more reliable processes for achieving compliance with the leading PDF and document accessibility standards, including WCAG, PDF/UA, and Section 508. CommonLook software makes the creation, remediation, and management of accessible PDF and Microsoft Office documents easier than ever before.

247 Accessible Documents – On-demand Accessible Documents – Upload a Document and receive an Accessible PDF, Accessible Word Document or an Accessible PowerPoint that meets Accessibility Standards & Guidelines 2.0 in 5 days.

inclüd – Accessible content conversion, creation, and consulting services, inclüd provides institutions with a path to accessible information, ensuring that those with exceptional needs can access content tailor made for them.

Equidox Equidox is an automated solution that simplifies the process of discovering, converting, and publishing PDF documents to WCAG 2.0 compliant HTML.

BrailleWorks – Braille Works is a solution for repair or remediation of your documents so organizations can meet WCAG and 508 compliance standards. WCAG and Section 508 document compliance can be difficult and navigating these waters is not a job for the inexperienced. Elements of a document such as paragraph structure, tables, charts, lists etc, need to be properly organized and tagged to provide true accessibility.

T-Base Communications – T-Base Communications takes one digital file and converts it into every accessible format you need: braille, large print, audio or accessible PDF. Guided automation and QA by our subject matter experts ensures a high-quality end product, consistently.

Microassist – The entire Microassist team invests time in understanding a client’s needs and the desired outcome of their training and learning strategy. Microassist creates, delivers, and hosts custom training for our clients’ internal and external learners with a special emphasis in usability and accessibility.

PubCom – PubCom has been developing accessible materials since the mid-1990s, before the US Sec. 508 amendment was passed and put into effect in 2000. They offer a suite of services from custom designed accessible templates to an audit of public-facing documents.

RoboBraille – RoboBraille is accessible 24/7 as a self-service solution and is available free of charge to individual, non-commercial user not affiliated with an institutional setting obligated to provide support (academic institution, organisation, association or similar). Users need not register in order to use the service. The objective is to support and promote self-sufficiency of people with special needs socially, throughout the educational system and on the labour market. As an additional benefit, RoboBraille helps to protect the privacy of of those who need material in alternate formats.

Conversion TOOLS

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – The defacto PDF conversion tool. Includes an Accessibilty Checker to assess your PDF files.

axaio MadeToTagaxaio MadeToTag is an Adobe InDesign CS6 to CC plug-in to properly prepare InDesign documents for export as accessible, tagged PDF file – much more easier, faster and more reliable. The tagged PDF complies with the terms of the PDF/UA-Standard, the international standard for universally accessible PDF. PDF/UA is important to all organizations and companies delivering documents which have to be conform to regulations requiring accessible electronic content including WCAG 2.0, Section 508 in the US.

PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 2) – PAC 2 quickly tests PDF files for accessibility. PAC 2 is used to support expert and affected tests during assessment. NOTE: The company offering this software, Access for All, is based in Switzerland, you may need to use translation to understand the content.

Grackle Docs – Grackle is a cloud-based service that can convert Google Doc, Sheet, PDF and Slide into an accessible PDF. Used with Grackle’s Accessibility Checkers, Grackle Docs brings compliance, remediation and version control under one roof.

PDF Accessibility Training

Microsoft PDF Accessibility Training YouTube Videos – This PDF Accessibility training series was provided to Microsoft employees on creating accessible PDF documents. Use these videos, along with documentation from Adobe Accessibility to learn to create, remediate, and check for accessibility issues.

Accessible Web Development Resources

Headings

Images

Tables

Forms

Links

Skip Links

Color

TOOLS AND RESOURCES – PODCASTS

RESOURCES AND TOOLS – VIDEO CAPTIONING

RESOURCES – DESCRIPTION

CAPTIONING RESOURCES

The following is a list of captioning service providers (last updated in August 2016) from the Maine.gov Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and details resources close to Maine.

BUSINESSES PROVIDING CLOSED CAPTIONING SERVICES

Automatic Sync Technologies
Haywood, CA
(877) 278-7962
E-mail: info@automaticsync.com
Web site: automaticsync.com

3 Play Media
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 764-5189
E-mail: info@3playmedia.com
Web site: 3playmedia.com

Karasch & Associates
West Chester, PA 19382
1-800-621-5689 (V)
(619) 696-2008 (FAX)
Email: cart@karasch.com
Website: www.karasch.com

Closed Caption Maker
Harrisburg, PA 17104
1-800-527-0551 (V)
Email: wgallant@ccmaker.com
Website: Closed Caption Maker

Custom Captions
Provo, UT 84601
(801) 370-9878 (V)
Email: customcaptions@comcast.net

Subsandcaps.com
Richardson, TX 75083
214-801-7606 (V)
Email: michael@subsandcaps.com
Website: www.subsandcaps.com

Video Caption Corporation
Stanfordville, New York 12581
800-705-1203 (V)
800-705-1207 (FAX)
Email: ccarlson@vicaps.com

Video Production Services
North Monmouth, ME 04265
933-3896 (V)
1-800-848-8550 (V)
Email: info@videops.com
Website: Video Production Services

Frameweld/National Captioning Institute
Recap’d Captioning Service
Long Island City, NY 11101
718-408-9190
E-mail: info@frameweld.com
Website: recapd.com

LNS Captioning
Portland, OR 97205
503-299-6200 (V)
800-366-6201 (V)
Web site: lnscaptioning.com

For more information on captioning and captioning service vendors, see the website for Captioned Media Program.

Accessible E-mail and E-Newsletters

The following information comes from the ITACCESS listserv from Educause. The list of e-mail and e-newsletter accessibility resources was developed by Sandi Arendalkowski, Accessibility & User Experience Designer, UW-MadisonThank you, Sandi!

 

 

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Revised: 05/07/2019