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How to Make Digital Assets Accessible: Documents

A resource to help you create accessible digital assets for your cours

Documents used for teaching and learning must be in an accessible format so that people with disabilities using assistive or adaptive technology can access the information. 

TIP:  The Accessibility Checker checks your Word documents for any issues with regard to accessibility. To learn more, visit Microsoft's website page on the Accessibility Checker.

Accessibility Guidelines for Documents

This is an overview of the elements that require special consideration when creating accessible documents. Please review one of the Additional Resources for detailed instructions on any of the following:

  • Use the built-in Headings between sections in your document to provide structure and context.
  • Add ALT Text to embedded images, charts, and graphs in order to provide a description of the item. Images that are decorative maybe tagged as "null" so the screen reader skips the image.  
  • Use the built-in Lists tools for bulleted and numbered lists, rather than inserting them manually.
  • Identify row and column headers for tables with clear labels.
  • Make sure Hyperlinks make sense without their surrounding content. For example do not title a link "click here" instead title with the name of the website or resource.
  • Do not use color as a means of conveying essential information.
  • Ensure the text is legible by using Sans-serif fonts and make sure your Color Scheme has enough contrast between light and dark. Avoid using orange, red and green for your template or text. 
  • Use the simplest and clearest language appropriate for the document's content.


Check back for updates to this section. Subscribe to the CAT mailing list to receive notification of updates and other information. Visit the CAT website to subscribe.

‚ÄčApplying styles in Word 2010

Additional Resources

Accessibility Check

To check:


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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