Accessible Documents

Word documents, PDFs, and other documents shared online must also be accessible, using many of the same principles and concepts outlined on the Accessibility Basics page. The specific way to edit a document to ensure accessibility will depend on the program you are using.


Before posting a document online please take a moment to consider your audience and how to best disseminate the information. Generally, it is more difficult and time consuming to create an accessible document than it is to post accessible content within the CMS. Could your information be presented on the webpage itself, or is it necessary for it to be in a document? If the information does not need specific formatting, this may be a good opportunity to simply paste your content into the CMS. This is also beneficial in that it allows you to make changes easily when necessary, as it is simply a matter of editing the text, rather than replacing or deleting a document. Adding content directly in the CMS is also easier for users to read on a mobile device, as the design is responsive and therefore content fits automatically to different screen sizes without the need to zoom in or scroll.


Another thing to consider is how many users will need to access this information. If the group is small and/or requests for the information are infrequent, it may be preferable to send your document via another method (such as email) rather than posting it online.


If you ultimately need to post a document online, the document must be accessible. Programs such as Word and Adobe Indesign will allow you to include many of the required accessibility components to a document, but not all. For complex documents you may need to make additional fixes after the document is created, using programs such as Adobe Acrobat Pro for PDFs, or consult with an outside source to remediate the document. 


Reference the tutorials in the right hand menu to get help adding accessibility requirements in commonly used programs.

Anchorage School District website accessibility and nondiscrimination notice. The Anchorage School District is an equal opportunity provider.