Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018 Is Here!

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day to “get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

Today I share with you five great resources for making digital documents and online materials more accessible.

  1. Vision Australia’s Document Accessibility Toolbar (PC Only)

Vision Australia’s Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT) is a Microsoft Word plug-in that makes creating accessible documents easier. Once installed, a toolbar is available on Word’s ribbon that brings all Word’s accessibility-related options to a central area. The DAT is compatible with Microsoft Office 2010-2016 on a PC; unfortunately, the DAT is not available for Mac.

Vision Australia's Document Accessibility Toolbar, within the Microsoft Word ribbon.

  1. The Paciello Group’s Colour Contrast Analyser (PC, Mac)

Poor color contrast between a background and text or a button can pose big issues for those with low vision. To help ensure ideal color combinations, the accessibility consulting company The Paciello Group has developed a Colour Contrast Analyser. The tool assesses pairs of colors against WCAG 2.0 guidelines and helps to meet federal Section 508 accessibility standards.

Results of a color contrast comparison using The Paciello Group's Colour Contrast Analyser.

  1. WebAIM’s “Creating Accessible Documents” (webpage)

WebAIM is an organization with the mission “to empower organizations to make their web content accessible to people with disabilities.” The WebAIM website devotes an entire section, “Creating Accessible Documents,” on how to make Microsoft Word documents accessible.

Screenshot of the WebAIM "Microsoft Word: Creating Accessible Documents" webpage, with links to various articles.

  1. AMAC Web Accessibility Group’s Monthly Meetings (webpage)

The Web Accessibility Group (WAG) is part of Georgia Tech’s AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center. WAG offers excellent accessibility-related webinars on a near-monthly basis; the webinars are recorded and available on the WAG “Monthly Meetings” webpage.

Screenshot of WAG Monthly Meetings webpage, with links to webinar recordings.

  1. Hemingway Editor (PC, Mac)

Document accessibility begins with writing in an organized, understandable, succinct way. Hemingway Editor helps you achieve that by offering simpler alternatives to your wordy or hard-to-read sentences. A free web-based version, or paid desktop version, is available.

Screenshot of Hemingway Editor, with pasted or written text highlighted in different colors to show such issues as "hard to read" and "use of passive voice."

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