Below are some resources that are useful for understanding the need for, and for creating, accessible materials.
Try and follow these guidelines, wherever possible, when creating any new documents, webpages or other materials. Apply the same standards to documents for staff as they too may have learning differences or disabilities. With some minor changes our resources can be made accessible and user friendly for all staff and students. If we get into the habit of always following certain guidelines such as using 'styles' then our resources will be accessible by default.
Layout: A really useful and simple set of rules that clearly illustrate how important layout is.
The format of a document is really important for people using screen readers. Please listen to the following 3 very short clips of JAWS ( a screen reader used by the visually impaired). They have been created to show how screen readers move through documents. Other screen reader software packages may be used by people who have dyslexia or physical impairments.
1. JAWS reading a document that has not been formatted using the 'style' functions of Word. Close your eyes when listening to this.
2. Now listen to the same text which was formatted using the 'style' function in Word and note the difference. Again it is helpful to close your eyes.
3. This clip illustrates how the screen reader can navigate through a formatted document.
Microsoft Office guide for using Microsofts's Accessibility tool in Word and PowerPoint. This, easy to use option in Word and PowerPoint, checks your documents for accessibiity.
Microsoft Office guide for creating accessible PowerPoint slides.
Microsoft Office guide for creating accessible Word documents.
IT Services have useful guidance for creating accessible webpages.
This document contains useful guidance for creating accessible PDFs. The standards, created by UKAAF (UK Association for Accessible Formats), are broken down into two levels: Level 1 that makes a PDF accessible for reflowing and text to speech users; Level 2 that makes the PDF accessible for screen reader users.
Tips on Creating Accessible Documents presented at Disability Interest Group 27.4.16