Currently there is no simple list of what you should do to create an accessible document. A definitive list does not exist because:
- there are a wide range of different communication needs, abilities and resources. So, accessible communication may be somewhat individualized. For example, font size might be an important consideration for some people when accessing a document, but not for others.
- the technology for document creation and access (e.g. screen readers) is evolving. So, best practices can change.
As A Starting Point
In lieu of a top ten list, we are identifying some things that staff and faculty can do to make the documents they create more accessible to a greater number of people. The following table can help guide your work in making all new materials accessible and in updating your heritage items as you re-use them.
Start from the top and work your way down. Even by just having electronic copies of course documents, you will make your handouts and presentations more accessible since:
- Electronic copies are the starting point for providing the general accessibility envisioned in the AODA
- The Adaptive Technology Lab can convert electronic copies of course materials to an alternative format (e.g. braille) so they can be accessed by students with specific documented disabilities
In addition to the Starting Point, there are a few other resources that you can access:
Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) has produced a number of detailed guides on how to increase the accessibility of a wide range of Microsoft Office 2010 applications (note: 2013 has similar features):
CNIBhas created a concise Clear Print Guide that reviews 10 variables that can affect readers who have difficulty reading print.
Checking Accessibility: This four-minute presentation will walk you through the main steps in checking and updating the accessibility of a Microsoft Office 2010 document (pdf presentation).
Note: scroll to the bottom of the screen for closed captioning.