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.

Electronic documents

The most common electronic document file types are PDF files (.pdf) and Microsoft Word files (.docx). 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.

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; remediation is suggested for content that need to stay as an electronic document. Therefore, it is best practice to have information on a webpage rather than within a Word document or PDF when possible. Learn more about creating accessible documents.


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

Need an accessible PDF but lack the time or training? The UW vendor Vastec Inc., charges units about $9.23 per page (three page document = $27.69) to make documents accessible. This cost is for basic remediation 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 a direct contact with Vastec that the marketing team uses.

Web Content (Kentico)

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