From the Accessible Content Working Group

For many years, PDFs were considered the best document type for any and all purposes, but our understanding of technology and users has evolved. If you feel like your document workflows might be stuck in 1993, the year PDFs were launched, then read on to learn how to make those workflows more efficient and digital documents more accessible.

  1. Eliminate unnecessary steps and share your source document.
    • Your original documents created as Word or Google docs can be shared with and accessed by most users. Developing content in these platforms using some simple document accessibility steps can make your output more readily inclusive. (Check out Creating Accessible Basic Google Docs and Microsoft Word: Creating Accessible Documents (from WebAIM) to learn more.)
    • Sharing the source document comes with other advantages: a smoother workflow, time saved, built-in version history, and improved accessibility for a broader audience.
  2. Leverage web platforms like WordPress or Canvas to create and share accessible content.
  3. Avoid scanning and save time.
    • When sharing articles, it’s best to share the original document native to a digital format, rather than sharing a scan of a printed document.
    • Scanning is time-consuming and often introduces errors or digital clutter to a document, reducing a scan’s usability and potentially making it inaccessible for those using assistive technology.
    • When assigning a book chapter or article, check to see if the material is available as an e-book or digital file through ZSR Library. You can download the chapter as a PDF or share the link with your audience.

Visit Technology Accessibility Resources for more information!