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Checklist for Making Accessible Microsoft Office or PDF Documents

Remember: you are creating files for not just students, but your colleagues at the University and anyone coming into contact with the UH community. The guidelines below must be followed regardless if the file is distributed online or solely in a face-to-face environment.

We are required to ensure all of our online communication is available to persons who rely on assistive technologies, just as we are to people of other protected classes, such as gender, ethnicity, age, and more. We wouldn't a PDF if it couldn't be read by women, Latinos, LGBTQ+, or people over 40 years old. The same applies to accessibility--our documents must be readable by people with visual, aural, cognitive, and other challenges.


Accessibility Requirements for All Documents

You should be able to answer 'yes' to each of the following questions for a document that is accessible to all.

General Document Requirements

If the application has built–in styles (ie; Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal Text, etc.) did you use those built–in styles rather than changing font sizes and styles by hand?

Did you use built–in bullet and list tools instead of making them by hand?

Do all images and non–text elements that convey information have meaningful alternative text descriptions?

Did you provide text alternatives to any sound or video embedded into the file?

Did you avoid using color as the only means of distinguishing information?

Does all text have high contrast with the background?

Did you indicate the destination or purpose of all links in the link text?

Is the document free from printing or copying restrictions which will prevent assistive technology from reading the document?

Requirements for Tables in Documents

Does the table have a title row, caption, or descriptive (alternative) text?

Is the first row in all tables with data marked as the header row?

Is the header row repeated if the table spans multiple pages?

Did you avoid merging cell tables and rows?

Did you avoid empty cells in the tables?

Do your tables contain only text and not links or images?