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Skills Training for Creating Accessible Digital Documents

Ohio State provides tools to engage faculty, staff and student employees in training and professional development. 

Best Practices

If it's practical, make your document's content into a web page.

HTML pages are reliably most accessible format for displaying content. “HTML pages” include content types such as basic pages and landing pages. If possible, if you have a file you'd like to embed, it's generally preferable to make it into a Drupal page.

HTML pages have a logical structure that use semantic tags, which screen readers use to navigate a page and to describe its content. Semantic tags are snippets of code like <header>, <nav>, and <p>.

When creating pages in Drupal, you should follow these best practices:

  • Use headings to give pages a logical and systemic structure
    • H1 for page titles
    • H2 for sections
    • H3 to H5 for subsections
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists when describing a series of items
  • Write accurate and concise alt text that describes an image’s content and context
  • Keep paragraphs as short as possible
  • Paragraphs should be from 1 to 3 sentences
  • Link text should tell the user where the link will take them
  • Avoid using language like “Click here” 

If you need to upload downloadable files, ​we suggest converting an accessible Word document to a PDF.​

This gives your users the accessibility benefits of a Word document and the convenience of a PDF.​

Step 1: Make sure your document is accessible in Word

  • Use Styles as much as possible for formatting
    • Examples:
      • Headings instead of bold text
      • Lists instead of tables
  • Provide concise and accurate alt text for images
  • Make hyperlinks accessible by describing where the link will take the user
  • Run the Word Accessibility Checker to look for warnings or errors

Step 2: Save the document as PDF

If you're saving on a Mac:​

  1. Go to File and choose Save As

  2. Select PDF as your file format​

  3. Check the circle that says: ​“best for electronic distribution and accessibility”​

  4. Save the file​

If you're saving on a PC:​

  1. Go to  File and choose Save As

  2. Select PDF in your Save as Type menu​

  3. Click the Options button below the ​drop-down menu

  4. Check the box next to​ ISO 19005-1 Compliant (PDF/UA), ​then click OK

Buckeyelearn Trainings

To access Buckeyelearn, the skills training resource, You will be asked to log in with your university credentials.  

Click on the links below to access skills based training courses for the following most commonly used Microsoft products.

For development of accessible Mobile Apps, Web Design and Web Development use the link below for specific training courses:

For content editors authoring website content, specific training is on the links below: