Digital content (documents, websites, videos, audio, etc.) is accessible if it is created in a way that people experiencing an impairment or disability—whether permanent, temporary or situational—can use it. When content is accessible it works with assistive technologies like screen readers, personal voice assistants (e.g. Siri, Alexa, etc.), speech to text, screen magnifiers, braille displays, keyboards, switches, etc. When you design materials with accessibility in mind, they work better for everyone.
Identify Content Types—Headings, subheadings, paragraphs and lists
Provide Text Equivalents—Alt text, transcripts, and captions
Use Color Carefully
Provide Descriptive Hyperlinks
Use Clear Language
Download or print a PDF copy of these principles to use as a quick and easy checklist.
Next Steps: Applying the Principles
Once you understand the basics, the next step is to apply those principles to your materials. Many of the principles outlined above can be incorporated fairly easily. Content creators are encouraged to review the written or video tutorials and make these principles everyday practices.
Step-by-step written tutorials with screenshots explain how to apply the accessibility principles listed above. We cover a variety of software applications, including Microsoft, Google, Adobe Acrobat, and others.
The Creating Accessible Digital Documents video series is an all-inclusive YouTube playlist of short videos explaining the basics of accessibility for various software applications. Each video outlines a basic aspect of accessibility that can easily be incorporated into your digital documents and materials. Most of the videos are less than 5 minutes long. These videos are presented by the SUNY Oswego Workgroup on Accessibility Practices.
Members of the Workgroup on Accessibility Practices have collaborated to create a list of additional resources, websites, and articles to help further your understanding of accessibility. These can be found on the software-specific tutorials pages.
Additional training courses and tutorials are also available through a partnership with Deque University.