Accessibility Tools

All public facing web-content must be accessible to all, including those with disabilities and those using assistive technology.

UH Hilo's Meeting Accessibility Requirements for Web Pages describes in detail the requirements of the WCAG 2.0 standards. Under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the University must meet the Level A and Level AA Guidelines.

The easiest way to meet these guidelines is to create web pages for public facing content. When other document types are posted to the web, they must meet the same accessibility standards as web documents. These include:

  • Proper document stucture
  • Use of document title, headings
  • Alternative text for graphic elements
  • Appropriate contrast
  • Consistent navigation
  • Accessible using only keyboard
  • No images of text

We highly discourage the posting of documents in proprietary formats such as Microsoft Word. However, if the files comply with the WCAG 2.0 A and AA standards, they may be posted to university websites. Find resources for evaluating common file types below.

The University of Hawai╩╗i System has guides available for Creating Accessible Documents.

Adobe PDF documents

Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most used document file formats on the web, and is used for documents and fillable forms. Although can be created in a variety of programs, Adobe Acrobat DC software is needed to remediate inaccessible PDF files. The most recent versions of Acrobat Pro include tools to create and verify accessibility features.

Lynda.com is a subscribtion-based knowledge repository with some excellent tutorial videos available.

View Slides from 3PlayMedia's Creating Accessible PDFs with Acrobat: Requirements, Implementation, and Evaluation webinar for an overview of common PDF accessibility issues.

PDF Accessibility Resources

Microsoft Office Files

Microsoft has introduced an Accessibility Checker in their Office 365 suite. You can also reference the Microsoft Accessibility site to learn more about their software.

Files in office formats can be accessible, but not always. You will have to make sure that they are styled properly before posting to the web.

Microsoft Word

The UDL / Accessibility video series from Grand Rapids Community College describes many of the issues and remediation steps for Microsoft Word documents. The video series was created using Word 2013 for PC.

Using the Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker

Word Accessibility Resources

Microsoft Excel

Excel Accessibility Resources

Microsoft Powerpoint

PowerPoint Accessibility Resources