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Library and Learning Services Accessibility Help Guide: Accessibility in the classroom

An internal guide for Sheridan Library staff to answer their questions about accessibility, UDL and AODA requirements.

Accessibility in the classroom



Accessible Library workshop presentations are available upon request. Please email or at extension 8325 for all Library accessibility requests for workshop materials. 

Creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations

  • Ensure you are using the slide master in Microsoft Powerpoint. These slide decks were created with basic accessibility features already embeded.
  • Do not use text boxes - Screen readers cannot read the content inside a text box.
  • Use sans serif fonts such as Arial or Verdana. These fonts are easier to read.
  • Ensure you are following proper colour contrast guidelines - recommendations are dark background with light writing or vice versa
  • Use a large font size - my general rule of thumb is a person should be able to read the slide from the back of the room. 
  • Do not overwhelm slide with lots of text. Do point form to remind yourself (or the speaker) of the points you want to make
  • Provide Alt text for all images used in the presentation

Creating Accessible Word Documents:

  • Use sans serif fonts such as Arial and Verdana
  • Try to avoid using textboxes since screen readers cannot read the content inside these textboxes
  • Use 12 to 14 point font size
  • Make sure your document has proper colour contrast - dark background, light text or vice versa
  • All images must have alternate text added so a screen reader can read that content
  • Use headings as much as possible when starting a new line of text



Creating Accessible PDFs

Just because something is a PDF, doesn't mean it's automatically able to be read by a screen reader.

Here are some tips on how to make your PDF documents accessible:

  • Some PDFs require OCR to be added so the content can be read by a screenreader. 
  • If you go to tools and accessibility, you are able to run a full accessibility report of your document to understand what the issues are
  • Add alternate text to all images used in the PDF. You can access this through Tools - Accessibility - Set alternate text. This is very important because if your image contains vital information for your user, they won't be able to read the content they need without alt text added.
  • Autotag the document for a basic idea of the reading order of this document. You can always edit and make changes to these tags by clicking on the reading order button in the accessibility menu