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It is important to make sure that your documents are accessible to as many people as possible. Please write reports and other  research documentation with accessibility in mind. For tutorials, checklists, and guidelines, see https://www.section508.gov/create/documents/

 Legal 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. 

"Print to PDF" will strip out all accessibility tags previously added in MS Office applications. Instead, use "Export" or "Save As PDF" when converting your document.

General Resources


Alt-Text

Non-text content (images and equations) must include alt text that screen readers can use to describe the content.

A decision tree for creating alt-text https://www.w3.org/WAI/tutorials/images/decision-tree/

tip

Before finalizing a document, screenshot and re-insert multi-component charts, graphs, equations, or Smart Art graphics so that alt-text can be added to describe the whole image instead of writing alt-text for each individual component (e.g., chart lines, arrows, photo collages, photos with overlay drawings, etc)


Images



Mathematical symbols, calculations


Color Contrast

Color contrast between background and text must be compliant to WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards, at a minimum. See A11y Color Palette, WebAIM Contrast Checker, Paciello Group's Colour Contrast Analyser.


TIP

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.

Graph design, color, and accessibility

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.


Bar Chart design, color, and accessibility

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.

 Example of chart accessibility

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.

  • 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.
  • To check the foreground (text) against the background (bar), check the color codes on WebAIM's Contrast Checker or other tool.

Tables

Accessible Tables: A PowerPoint presentation by Michael Molina, Oklahoma DOT, June 9, 2021. https://transportation.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=61899149


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