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Accessibility: Accessible Documents

Tips and guidance for preparing accessible content

Preparing Accessible Documents

Creating accessible documents means intentionally designing documents for use with assistive technology and making content universally usable to people with a wide range of needs. It's also a way to meet ADA requirements and standards such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitaiton Act and The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Accessible documents support sustainability and improve the overall functionality and usability of the document for everyone. Additional benefits include clearly presented and structured information, meaningful links, and describing images through alternative text. 

  • Making adjustments during the design process is the easiest way to make documents, including PDFs, accessible.
  • Programs such as Acrobat Pro and Word will provide accessibility reports to help you fix problems.

Before uploading documents such as meeting minutes to the OPAL website, we ask you to make sure they meet accessibility guidelines. Use the Quick Guide to get started.

Current legal cases suggest conforming to WCAG 2.1 AA. "It is intended that sites that conform to WCAG2.1 also conform to WCAG 2.0, which means they meet the requirements of any policies that reference WCAG 2.0, while also better meeting the needs of users on the current web." (Conformance to WCAG 2.1)

Why Create Accessible Documents

Includes examples of problems caused by documents that are not accessible.

Video Credit: University of Washington DO-IT Center-Creating Accessible Documents (11:38 minutes with CC)

Quick Start