Digital Accessibility Resources

If you haven't already checked out the Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series, please do so when you have a chance! This series will provide some context for any of the accessibility evaluation tools listed below.

When generating digital content, note that HTML content will almost always be more accessible than content in any other format, such as PDF. Consider whether your non-HTML content must be distributed as a document, presentation, etc. If there is not a clear, business reason for publishing content in this way, consider designing a more sustainable HTML alternative.

For non-HTML content that you plan to upload to the web or distribute via email, the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) publishes a series of one-page accessibility resources, or "cheatsheets," that you are welcome to print, laminate, use, and distribute to facilitate learning. For additional resources, refer to the following accessible design resources:

Creating Accessible Adobe Content

Though a significant amount of non-HTML content is generated with Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word, it is most often published online as PDF. Even when the original InDesign or Word document is designed with accessibility in mind, those elements do not always translate effectively when the file is exported to PDF. Adobe Acrobat Pro is required in order to verify accessibility and remediate any accessibility gaps.

Creating Accessible Confluence Content

Though a great deal of content generated via Confluence is intended for internal distribution, there are definitely some help materials that are made available publicly. Regardless, content in this environment must also be accessible.

  • Pending

Creating Accessible D2L Content

If you are a faculty member, please refer to the Office of Academic Innovation's faculty support web page for instruction and guidance in designing accessible instructional materials. For assistance in locating and using resources, see the Library's Services for Faculty.

Creating Accessible Drupal Content

Content editors responsible for their respective department's web space should reach out to the Office of University Communications with any questions related to accessible content building in the current and new Drupal spaces.

Creating Accessible Google Content

All students, faculty, and staff at PSU have access to Google's G Suite applications. Questions regarding how to use Google Apps or generate content can be asked at an of OIT's G Suite Workshops. The following are specific resources for accessible design within Google apps:

Please note that content generated via Google apps will only be fully accessible under certain conditions:

  • Google Docs does not currently allow for the generation of accessible tables. As much as possible, please avoid using this feature in your Docs.
  • Google Docs and Sheets should be published as HTML prior to distribution as the original files will be difficult to navigate via adaptive technology.
  • Google Slides must be downloaded and distributed as PowerPoint, as there is not yet an option for generating fully accessible Slides.


Creating Accessible Media Content

While a transcript is sufficient for archived audio, videos and live audio must have captions and an accompanying transcript. Captions should be synchronized, equivalent, and accessible. This means that automated speech recognition (or auto-generated captions) are not sufficient. Captioning can be generated or corrected with self-captioning tools like AmaraSubtitle Horse, and YouTube. Alternatively, captioning may be contracted to a third party. Contact for details.

Creating Accessible Microsoft Content

Microsoft content in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word can be designed and distributed accessibly with relative ease. The following are several resources for accessible design within Microsoft products: