Producing Teaching Content

Creating Accessible documents

In this article we’ll look at tips to help you create accessible documents, for example Word or PDF documents. We’ll also provide links to some useful resources so you can put those tips into practice.

Use Plain English

Using Plain English can help make your documents more accessible for all audiences.

Making text accessible

Below are some quick tips about font choice and spacing to make text more accessible to read.

  • Choose a Sans Serif Font (eg. Open Sans, Arial (not Arial Narrow), Calibri, Verdana).
  • Use a minimum font size of 12 points.
  • Use bold text to emphasize words, avoid using italics and underline which can be difficult to read.
  • Use 1.5 spacing, aligned to the left with a ragged right margin. (Justified text with straight margins on both sides can be harder to read).

Structure of documents

A clear structure can improve the readability of a document.

Use of colour

Colour and contrast can affect the readability of a document.

Use of Hyperlinks

Use a descriptive hyperlink, when including links to online content or websites in your document. Make sure the link text clearly describes where the link goes. It should also be understandable on its own, even if read out of context.

Sharing of documents

Sometimes a student may require early access to course content. You can set adaptive release rules in Blackboard, to control the date and time content is released to a specific student or group of students.

Tools for checking your content

You can use the Microsoft Accessibility checker, within Word to highlight any accessibility issues.

Support and resources:

Below is a list of links to additional resources: