As educators, we know that documents can play a pivotal role in delivering content to students, colleagues, families, and other stakeholders. Whether it’s assignments, handouts, or reference materials, the accessibility of these documents can significantly impact the learning experience. An accessible document not only accommodates students with disabilities but also enhances the overall learning experience for every student in the classroom.

Below are some of the ways to design documents to be accessible.  

    • Consistent Formatting: Consistency in document layout supports easy navigation and readability. Headings, subheadings, and body text that are consistently formatted, make it easier for all users to follow the content.
    • Font and Color Choices: Opt for accessible fonts and colors with sufficient contrast. The text should be legible for all readers, including those with visual impairments. Read more about accessible font in our previous post. 
    • Headings and Lists: Use proper heading styles and lists to structure your document. This aids in content organization and makes it easier for screen readers to interpret the document’s structure.
    • Document Structure: Use document outlining and outlining tools to create a logical hierarchy of information that are embedded within your document program. This assists users in understanding the relationships between various sections.
SmartPhone demonstrating OCR by translating the text on a train ticket.

Accessible Documents

Note the ways that this document from Introduction to SEL implements accessibility in the document design.

Educators play a pivotal role in ensuring that the content they provide is accessible to all students, regardless of their individual needs or preferences. By incorporating these practices into your document creation process, you can enhance accessibility and make your materials more inclusive, benefiting all learners. Accessibility in our digital resources is not just a matter of compliance but a commitment to promoting equitable learning for everyone. In doing so, we empower every student to engage with educational content effectively, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and diverse educational experience.

FOLLOW THE FULL SERIES

This is one of a series of posts from Cassie Brusch and Julie Ortlieb.  Check the MCIU Learning Network throughout this year to see more posts from this series.

Authors

Julie Ortlieb

Project Consultant

Cassie Brusch

Project Consultant