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Creating Accessible Environments (Digital or Physical)

We all have the responsibility of creating environments that ensure equal access. Explore these resources and contact the ASAC with additional questions.
 

The American University community creates materials with Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Check your content for accessibility by using this simple tool.

MS Accessibility Checker

Please be aware that there are many versions of Adobe Reader. You will only be able to use full features when using the paid version. Check with your department to see if you have access to the paid version of Adobe Reader.

  1. Recognize Text in this file/OCR This allows our students who have reading disabilities and vision loss to be able to access your content. It also allows your document to be indexed in search results.
  2. Accessibility Checker allows you to identify elements that need some extra attention to make your PDF fully accessible to all. 
  3. Acrobat DC: Creating Accessible PDF's: Training modules on Lynda.com. You can log in with your AU credentials to access training videos.

Providing closed captions helps many learners along with our students and community members who may identify as Deaf or hard of hearing. To learn how to caption your materials, please investigate the following resources:

How to add Captions to a Power Point with voiceover.

Add Captions to a Video you created via Youtube. This will allow you to edit captions to ensure accuracy.

The ASAC has developed resources to help ensure events can be accessible to everyone.

Accessible Events
Accessible Event Flow Chart

Remember to appoint someone in your department as the point of contact for any requested accommodations.

Submit any CART/Interpreting needs at least 2 weeks in advance.

American University recently licensed SensusAccess, a self-service alternate media solution that allows the AU community to automatically convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures, and PowerPoint presentations into more accessible formats. The tool also converts documents into a range of alternate media including audiobooks (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3, and Mobi), and digital Braille. It is a useful tool to use to make sure your Blackboard course files are accessible.

You can access this new tool via Blackboard. Instructions on how to do so are located in the Blackboard Help tab. You can also access this tool outside of Blackboard online at https://americanuniversity.service-now.com/sp?id=wcag_sensus For help with the tool in Blackboard, please contact e-Learning Support Services at 202-885-3904 or via email at blackboard@american.edu.