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It is important to make sure that your documents are accessible to as many people as possible. For FHWA and other publications funded through the U.S.Government, Section 508 compliance is required. In addition, there are an increasing number of lawsuits being filed against entities that post documents that are not accessible.Please write reports and other  research documentation with accessibility in mind. For tutorials, checklists, and guidelines, see see https://www.section508.gov/content/build/create-accessible-documents.

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titleLegal Requirement for Texas State Agencies and Universities....

Excerpt from Texas Department of Information Resources https://dir.texas.gov/electronic-information-resources-eir-accessibility/eir-accessibility-roles-responsibilities/eir :

State agencies and institutions of higher education are required to comply with Texas EIR Accessibility statutes and rules to provide accessibility. 

  • TGC 2054.451, enacted in 2005, requires that all state agencies and institutions of higher education, provide state employees and members of the public access to and use of electronic information resources. 

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Warning
"Print to PDF" will strip out all accessibility tags previously added in MS Office applications

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. Instead, use "Export" or "Save As PDF" when converting your document.

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Graphs

Make sure that graphs and other images do not rely solely on color to convey information. If necessary, use online tools such as Coblis or Sim Daltonism to test your images.


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titleExample of graphs accessibility


Bar Charts and color

Even if you are color-coding charts, make sure values or labels are included with each bar for screen readers. If the color differences are significant to understanding the chart, make sure that they have sufficient color contrast and difference in darkness for a colorblind user to interpret.


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titleExample of color contrast to understanding

Example 1. The below bar chart includes labels on each bar. Color contrast needs to be checked to make sure that there is enough contrast between the white text (foreground) and the red, orange, blue, and gray bars (background). In addition, if the bar colors are significant and correspond with a key, then the contrast between each bar color also needs to be checked.

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  • Checked on the Coblis free online colorblindness simulator. In this case, for readers with monochromacy, there is little to no difference between the orange and the gray bars. The difference between the red and the blue bars could also be easily confused.
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  • To check the foreground (text) against the background (bar), check the color codes on WebAIM's Contrast Checker or other tool.

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    To test color contrast, you need the exact value for each color used. If testing colors that are on a website, try a color picker browser add-on to find this value. For desktop applications, free software such as Paciello Group's free Colour Contrast Analyser may help.