Consider our "Fast Five" essentials for preparing materials for your courses:
Use the Grackle plugin as the in-program accessibility checker for Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.
Instructions for the Microsoft Office Suite
For Microsoft Office Suite documents such as those created with Word, Powerpoint, or Excel, we highly recommend the LinkedIn Learning course, Creating Accessibility Documents with Microsoft Office.
- All Office Suite documents have an Accessibility Checker built-in.
- Creating Accessible PDFs on LinkedIn Learning
Use Acrobat's built-in Action Wizard and choose "Make Accessible"
- See Make Your Word Documents Accessible...
Instructions for Improving the Accessibility of an Existing PDF
SensusAccess is an online service that converts text- and image-based documents into different accessible formats (searchable PDFs, audio, Braille, or e-text). It is available to all Swarthmore staff, students, and faculty with a Swarthmore College email address.
The quality of the converted document is highly dependent on the quality of the original document. For example, a clearly-structured Word document will yield a better result than a poorly-scanned PDF.
To begin converting a document, go to the SensusAccess page, upload a file, and select the appropriate format.
Take advantage of SensusAccess from anywhere
You do not have to be on campus to take advantage of this service.
PDFs are notoriously difficult to make fully accessible; however, you can make improvements by using Acrobat's built-in Action Wizard [YouTube] and choosing Make Accessible.
Take advantage of our librarians
Our librarians are well-versed in finding accessible content and can be very useful resources. Visit the library's research support page for more information.
Use the power of the internet
Another option—instead of fixing an existing PDF—is to use a web link to an HTML version of the document. Generally, HTML is one of the most accessible document formats.