Quick wins in accessibility by using Adobe Acrobat Pro’s built-in tool.
In FMS TEL we are currently working on accessibility as new module materials are being prepared for release. Did you know that Adobe Acrobat Pro has a built in Accessibility tool that not only checks your document’s accessibility, but helps you improve accessibility with the click of a few buttons?
If you find that your PDFs are receiving low accessibility scores in Canvas, you can use Adobe Acrobat to improve their scores quickly and efficiently. Simply open the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Then select the Accessibility tool from the Tools options. (Click on More Tools then scroll down to the Protect and Standardize section.)
Begin by selecting the Accessibility Check. This will tell you what can be improved in your document.
Next you can use the Autotag tool if your document is missing tags such as headings.
You can choose Set Alternative Text to add alt text to your images.
If necessary use the Reading Order tool to set the order in which the document should be read by a screen reader.
With these three easy steps you have vastly improved the accessibility of your document! Try adding it back into Canvas and you will be surprised by the results you get.
Check out our previous posts on accessibility to see how you can make materials more accessible.
This week I have been working on how to improve accessibility of resources, focusing particularly on the four commonest issues flagged by Ally in Canvas. I have been working on the BMS Health and Safety course to check its accessibility. I found that while it’s easy to add an image description in the Ally view within Canvas, I wasn’t familiar with how to correct issues within the PDF itself. After a few searches online, I was able to come up with a guide to help others fix these issues. A quick summary is below. You can access the full walkthrough on the FMS Community.
The four commonest issues I found were; a lack of image descriptions, a lack of headings, the lack of document title, PDFs not being tagged.
Find the Original Document
These can be added under image formatting tools in Word and PowerPoint.
Add or Define Headings
Make sure you are using the built-in style galleries and slide templates to format your document. This makes it easier for screen-readers to understand the structure of the information.
Add a Document Title
This setting lives on the ‘Info’ tab of a file – one that I had never paid attention to before!
Tag your PDF
After you have saved your file, you can also export it to PDF from the option on the same menu. Go to the advanced settings area and you can make sure that your PDF maker will include bookmarks and headings.
You can access the full walkthrough for each of these steps on the FMS Community. More information about Ally and accessibility is available via LTDS.