Digital Accessibility

Make Your Document Accessible

  1. Is my document accessible? [PDF]
  2. Microsoft Word Accessibility Basics [DOCX] (from the UMass Branding Guidelines)
  3. Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Basics [DOCX] (from the UMass Branding Guidelines)
  4. Accessibility Best Practices
  5. Accessible Word Documents
  6. Adobe Accessibility: PDF Resources

Even more tutorials and guidelines are on the Digital Accessibility Forum. (Login is required. Must be connected to the UMass network.)

If your PDF is an Image of Text, Convert It

Make sure your PDF is not an image of text. You should be able to copy and paste the text from your PDF into Word. To convert an image file to a text file:

  1. Use this web based Document Conversion tool:
  2. Upload file.
  3. Select document conversion.
  4. The converted document is returned via e-mail as an attachment.
  5. You will need to edit the file before it is saved to an accessible PDF.

Video Captions

Your video must have accurate captions. Video captioning is one of the University requirements for accessibility. Learn more about Closed Captioning from the UMass Brand Guide on Video Recording Tips.

Charts and Accessibility

Learn how to make your charts and graphs accessible. Don't rely on color alone to convey your message. Get help at Charts and Accessibility from Penn State University. 

As an example, visit the Budget website's planning calendar. Notice that the sidebar tells the visitor that "The timeline is shown in the image and also detailed below the image." A detailed description of the timeline is below the image, because we cannot rely on color to convey information. The text makes it accessible to everyone. 

There are many great resources online. Google the keywords: accessibility and charts to find them. I like this one on Accessibility Basics: Designing for Visual Impairment.

Read the Guidelines


UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) offers workshops on Creating Accessible Word Documents. Check their calendar for upcoming workshops. You may also contact the Instructional Media Lab at or 545-2823 to ask about upcoming workshops.

GSA Government-wide IT Accessibility Program - includes videos on How to Make an Accessible Document in Microsoft Word.

You may contact Joanne Patalano, Web Developer, AFIT, with questions about website accessibility for A&F department sites. Contact

Related Resources

Microsoft Word and Accessibility