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An accessibility checker generates a report of issues that could make it difficult for people with disabilities to understand your content. It also explains why and how to fix these issues.
An accessibility checker cannot replace a manual check by a knowledgeable person, but they can assist in finding the most common issues in most documents.
Any document that is shared with students, staff and/or the general public should be accessible. Accessibility checkers will help you identify and correct any issues so that you can meet this requirement. Following accessibility best practices can also help you create documents that are easier for all users to read.
Blackboard Ally is a tool in eCampus that automatically checks courses for accessibility issues. Ally then adds indicator icons beside course content items and creates a summary report to help the instructor identify priorities for revision.
Like other accessibility checkers, Ally identifies issues but can’t automatically fix them for you. Ally will, however, provide guidance on how you can fix the issues it finds.
Microsoft Office provides an Accessibility Checker in the most recent versions of Office. This is useful when using Word to check both current and previously created documents.
Run an Accessibility Check in Microsoft Office
Adobe Acrobat offers an Accessibility Checker for evaluating your PDF files. This tool can help identify issues and provide instructions on resolving any problems with your document. Acrobat also has built-in text recognition tools to help scan images for text.
This process will not work with low-quality scans because Acrobat will not be able to read the text in order to check it. PDFs with text that Adobe cannot read should not be used.
Note: The process of making a PDF accessible can be very time-consuming. A time-saving workaround is to create your content in Word and make sure it’s accessible before exporting to PDF. Then provide both a PDF and an accessible Word document version so that users can choose the one that best meets their needs.
If you use Google Docs to create content, you can use the free Grackle Docs add-on to
check accessibility and
correct errors. As an alternative, you can download your Google Docs as Microsoft Word documents and run them through the Microsoft Word accessibility checker.
If you don't have the software you need to run an accessibility check, as employees of DCCCD, you can get the latest versions of Microsoft Office and Acrobat Pro for free.
Contact your college IT department and ask them to install Microsoft Office and/or Adobe Creative Cloud (includes Acrobat Pro DC) on your college-owned computer.
You can also get a personal copy of Microsoft Office and/or Adobe Creative Cloud (includes Acrobat Pro DC) through DCCCD's software license.