Accessible Content

Making Content Accessible

The University of Washington, on all three campuses, provides a wide variety of tools to students, faculty, and staff for authoring electronic documents and web content. When authoring documents using Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, or creating any PDF, it’s important to follow a few basic steps to assure your document is readable by individuals with disabilities. The most common document file types are PDF files (.pdf), Microsoft Word files (.docx) and HTML web pages. An overview of accessible documents can be found on UW Seattle's website. In terms of accessible web content, the University of Washington follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.0.

Best Practices

Before uploading any electronic document, consider if it needs to be uploaded in this particular format. Can the content be copied and pasted onto a regular webpage? Webpages use an HTML format and HTML is the most accessible format for information on the web, followed by MS Office, then PDF. The least accessible type of document is a PDF form. Therefore, it is best practice to have information on a webpage rather than within a Word document or PDF when possible.


Web Content (Kentico)

To get help on creating and editing accessible web pages within the website, contact the Advancement & External Relation's Web Team.

MS Office Documents, PDFs, Canvas Content

Training for how to create accessible MS Office documents or internally remediate PDFs is offered on a request basis to individuals or departments. For PDF remediation, Adobe Acrobat DC needs to be purchased by the department and installed by UW Bothell IT. For more information, please contact Ana Thompson in the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI).

  • Ana Thompson
    Learning & Access Designer
    UW IT Accessibility Liaison Lead

3rd Party Remediation

UW Bothell participated in a pilot project, along with UW Tacoma and funded by UW Seattle IT, to test various electronic document remediation companies. The goal was to compare costs, the quality of remediation, and their turnaround time. UW Bothell was assigned to work with the UW vendor Vastec Inc., who charged us about $9.23 per page (three page document = $27.69). This cost is for basic remediations and can increase based on the complexity of a document but the majority will fall into this price range. When considering this option, take into account the cost of employees training and remediation work for a more realistic cost comparison.

This vendor can be found in Ariba or you can contact them directly; email for more information.