Accessible documents can be read by people who are blind, visually impaired, or use adaptive technology, such as screen readers to access file content. If your documents are available to people who have low-vision or use screen readers, even more people will be able to read your research or creative work. Learning how to make your work accessible is an important part of training to become a scholar and researcher. Many academic conferences and journals require work to be made accessible.
The tabs to the left provide instructions on creating accessible documents in a variety of formats.
Creating accessible documents is a part of the idea of Universal Design. Universal Design is the design of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples' needs. Simply put, universal design is good design.