Arkansas Tech University is committed to the development and maintenance of a university website where people of all ability levels can access university information and resources. A key component of this effort is making documents distributed electronically accessible to people with disabilities.

When Should I Make Accessible Documents?
Ideally, all documents distributed by university personnel would be accessible to people of all ability levels. In regard to the website, document editors need to make all documents that will be uploaded to the website or distributed electronically into accessible documents.

Why Should I make Accessible Documents?
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.

How do I make Accessible Documents?

1. Microsoft Word Document or a PDF originated from a Microsoft Word Document
  • Open your finished original document in Microsoft Word
  • Click on "Review"
  • Click on "Accessibility Check"
    • If you are using Word 2016 or earlier, go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility
  • Click through the items in the Inspection Results and correct the accessibility issues listed
  • Save your document and export to PDF if you will be immediately uploading it to the website or distributing it electronically
2. Adobe PDF - file originated in Acrobat
  • Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. The university has an enterprise license for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. To download this software, go to www.adobe.com > Sign in under "Enterprise" with your OneTech username and password > Select Document Cloud > Select Download Apps
  • In the open PDF window, go to "Search Tools" and type in "Accessibility"
  • Select "Full Check" and run the check with the default settings
  • Select each issue and correct the accessibility issue listed
  • Save the document
3. Other file types - Microsoft
  • Documents from other Microsoft software, such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Open the document
  • Click on "Review"
  • Click on "Accessibility Check"
    • If you are using a version from 2016 or earlier, go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility
  • Click through the items in the Inspection Results and correct the accessibility issues listed
  • Save the document

NOTE:

Scanned PDFs are technically images, so to be accessible each scanned page would need to include alternative text that includes the text on the scan. A scan without live text is unreadable by a screenreader. Check your scanner manual to see if there are accessibility settings or OCR settings that will have the scanner record each page as a screenreader-friendly PDF. Here is an example from HP


For education regarding accessible documents and visual step-by-step instructions outlining the process for making accessible documents, please watch this webinar from the University of Alabama's Office of Accessibility. The video covers Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, and general accessibility education: