Digital accessibility ensures that Kenyon websites, web applications and digital content can be used by everyone. Digital content should be designed with accessibility in mind to ensure access to people who have a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight or cognitive abilities. This type of design promotes an improved user experience for everyone. For example, research shows that captioned media increases literacy skills, comprehension and retention for everyone.

Digital content should adhere to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, level AA standards.

Web Content

Please contact Emily Lindo, associate director of web strategy, at 740-427-5500 or if you need assistance with webpages such as adding images, charts, tables or other items that might require alternate text or other complicated information to the website.

If your document can exist as a webpage, the content management system should provide the accessibility features needed. If you need to create digital materials, the information below will help you create accessible documents and multimedia files.

© 1999-2017 WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind). All rights reserved.

A series of one-page accessibility resources have been developed by the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) to help create accessible content. View these “cheatsheets” at Topics include Microsoft Office, Adobe, web accessibility and YouTube.

These cheatsheets are meant to be used as part of a larger training plan, as mentioned in the NCDAE blog post on How to Use Our Accessibility Cheatsheets. For more complete and technical information about these topics, visit the NCDAE partner WebAIM. If you would like to be notified when additional resources are created, subscribe to the NCDAE monthly newsletter.

© 2007-2014 NCDAE (National Center on Disability and Access to Education). All rights reserved.

Creating Accessible Documents and Multimedia Files

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

W3C Understanding Conformance provides detailed information about the specified standards for web accessibility.

Checklist to Evaluate Digital Content

  • If possible, create and share documents in HTML. It is the most accessible, multi-purpose digital format. 
  • Make source documents accessible
  • Structure:
    • Page Title and Description: Make sure the page title and description is clear and labeled as a title
    • Use Heading Styles
    • Language: Define your site and digital material’s language
    • Use simple language and active voice
    • Do not use fonts that are too fancy, too thick or too thin
    • Use clear fonts such as Verdana, Helvetica and Arial
    • To leave space at the bottom of a page, do not use the enter key to create space. Use a page break feature to advance to type on the next page.
    • Do not use color as the only method to make information known
    • Watermarks can impact readability and create low contrast
    • Provide a table of contents for long documents
    • Using periods between the letters of an acronym may help screen readers say each letter instead of reading one word. Try to avoid acronyms.
  • Video and Audio:
    • Provide text transcript for non-live audio and for video without sound: speaker’s name, all speech content, relevant descriptions of speech
    • Provide synchronized captions for all video, animations and webinars
    • Video should include captions, transcripts and necessary audio descriptions. You can host your video on Youtube or Vimeo and use an accessible player like the one found from AccessibilityOz.
    • Video players should allow the viewer to pause, rewind, change volume, turn on captions and audio descriptions with the mouse or the keyboard only
    • Videos should not start automatically
  • Images: Use alternate text for logos, images and charts
  • Color Contrast: The text on the page should stand out against the background. Free color contrast checkers are available at:
  • Keyboard: All page elements should be accessible without a mouse
  • Use the built-in accessibility checkers found in Microsoft Office, Adobe and others. Google docs provides a free add-on, the Google grackle accessibility checker.
  • Reference card for creating PDF files using Microsoft Word
  • Fixing PDFs should be a second choice. Scans are not accessible and Acrobat Pro can prove difficult in creating accessible PDFs.  Mathematical and scientific notation can not currently be made accessible in PDF. Check finished PDFs for accessibility. Always consider providing an HTML version of a document along with the PDF or in place of the PDF.
  • Tables require alt text and defined row headers (In Word select table properties>alt text AND >row>repeat as header row at the top of each page). Avoid using tables for layout.
  • Links: Use text that describes the destination of a link. A screen reader alerts the user when they encounter a link. Web-Aim Links and Hyperlinks
  • Scientific notation should be accessible by screen readers and assistive technology. More about accessible Math and Notation.
  • Formulas 
    • Use MathML to create formulas
    • Formulas are images with alternative text descriptions if MathML is not an option
  • Social Media: most sites do not offer a level of accessibility that includes everyone, so try to place content on a site everyone can access and reference the site.
  • Accessible Design: Axaio
  • Test Using Assistive Technology:

APA style and accessibility