IT Accessibility

Accessibility Remediation and Alternative Text

The IT Accessibility team assists with creating documents that are ADA compliant for persons using assistive technology.

Examples of when remediation and alternative text services is needed:

  • A person using a screen reader, is provided a paper copy of a document.
  • A student using text-to-speech is given a scanned-in (image only) PDF article.
  • A person using magnification and text-to-speech is handed a stack of papers.

These examples demonstrate the need for either a physical copy of a document or an “image only” digital format to be converted into an accessible digital document which can be fully accessed and understood. There are also “searchable” PDF’s that may be thought of as accessible but fall short of being usable.

The Remediation Process

Depending on the length and content of the document, the timeframe for remediation will vary.

The process of remediating a document involves:

  1. Developing a plan for the techniques and tools that will be used for remediation.
  2. The process to remediate the document, reviewing the content and identifying accessibility barriers that can be improved for usability.
  3. Testing the document to ensure the document is accessible and usable with the user’s assistive technology.

Our team creates accessible documents which include reviewing the reading order of the text, analyzing charts and tables, and identifying and correcting the “tags” embedded in the content. Tags enable assistive technology to access the content in the correct order. Examples of “tags” include:

  • Title
  • Heading levels
  • Image descriptions
  • Link descriptions
  • List from labels

MU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to ask questions if they are uncertain about the accessibility of their course materials, including documents posted online. Our team wants to help ensure that no person is excluded from accessing information.

If you are interested in learning how to create your own accessible documents, please refer to the Digital Access page to get started.