In general, web pages – using HTML and the advanced accessibility features built in to modern browsers – provide the best possible accessible experience, allowing us to reach as many or our residents as possible. Whenever information can be relayed through a web page, it's preferable to do so.

However, in some cases, it can be difficult to use web pages to distribute specific kinds of information, such as:
  • Downloadable documents, such as forms
  • Large documents, such as handbooks
  • Print documents, where formatting must be maintained
When it becomes necessary to use documents, such as Office and PDF documents, it's important to do everything possible to ensure these files are accessible. Accessible documents are machine readable and employ tags that enable assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to convey information easily and intuitively to users with disabilities. 

Remember, it's not only the right thing to do; it's legally required.

Microsoft Word Documents

With little effort, documents created by Microsoft Word can incorporate the tags and meta data required for accessibility. Word can be set up to populate much of this information so that its documents, and the PDFs it can also generate, are largely accessible. 

Acrobat PDFs

Ensuring that PDFs are accessible often requires some remediation. To make a PDF accessible, it's important to ensure that all PDFs have a proper title, have their reading order specified and are tagged appropriately.