Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Digital Accessibility - Check

Check the accessibility of existing documents and resources.

Accessibility checklist

Before using the built in accessibility checkers found in many of the tools you use, we recommend using our Accessibility Checklist first. Then use the tools available to you in the programs listed below to pick-up small errors.

They work best with documents and resources which are already using accessible design features. They will not necessarily pick up on everything. Think of it like a spell checker, use these tools at the end.

The Canvas Accessibility Checker makes it possible for you to check the accessibility of your Canvas page as you create it.

  • In the Rich text content editor select the Check Accessibility icon A person

Canvas provides detailed guidance on how to make a Canvas page accessible in the Canvas guides.

MS Word

The MS Accessibility Checker makes it possible for you to check your the accessibility of your documents directly from within MS Word.

  • Select File > Check for issues > Check accessibility to open the Accessibility Checker.

Microsoft provides detailed guidance on how to make Word documents accessible on its accessibility pages.

MS PowerPoint

The MS Accessibility Checker makes it possible for you to check the accessibility of your presentations directly from within MS PowerPoint.

  • Select File > Check for issues > Check accessibility to open the Accessibility Checker

Microsoft provides detailed guidance on how to make PowerPoint presentations accessible on its accessibility pages.

Adobe Acrobat Pro

The Adobe Acrobat Pro makes it possible for you to check the accessibility of your documents directly from within Acrobat Pro.

  • Select Tools > Accessibility to open the Accessibility Checker.
  • Run Full Check
  • Select Start Checking

Acrobat Pro usually provides an easy solution to fix the accessibility issues it finds.

Adobe provides detailed guidance on how to make PDF documents accessible on its accessibility pages.

If you do not have Acrobat Pro installed on your computer already and you are a member of staff or student of the University of Sussex you can request a free copy through IT services.

Google Docs, Google Slides, Apple Keynote and Apple Pages

Google and Apple do not have native accessibility checkers. If you use either of these to create documents, we recommend exporting them as Word, PowerPoint or a PDF file for best compatibility with your students' differing operating systems and hardware. Once you have done this you can use the checking tools built into Acrobat and Microsoft Office.

Follow the steps below to export your documents.

  • Google Docs: File > Download as > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF document (.pdf) 
  • Google Slides: File > Download as > Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx) or PDF document (.pdf)
  • Apple Pages: File > Export To > choose PDF... or Word... > Next > Export
  • Apple Keynote: File > Export To > choose PDF... or PowerPoint... > Next > Export

If you are familiar with using Plugins for Google Docs, then you can use a tool called Grackle Docs. More information can be found on the Grackle Docs website.

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