Brown DLD Faculty Guides

Accessible documents, images, media

Updated on

You will want to make sure that the documents, images, and media within your course are accessible to all students. To do so, be mindful of the following practices:

  • Provide text alternatives for visual elements and complex tables or graphs
    • Use captions, describe the image in surrounding text, or link out to a webpage if the visual is intended to demonstrate the context or content.
  • Make file types (e.g., PDF, Word, PPT) accessible 
  • Use software accessibility checkers and tools
    • Some products like Word for Windows have built in accessibility checkers to help you detect when something needs to be fixed.
    • The software you use to create content for your course includes tools to help you make your documents accessible. Adobe Acrobat Pro, for example, has a feature that helps you make PDFs accessible.

SensusAccess for Document Conversion

To convert PDFs and other document types to alternative formats, or make them more accessible, you can use Brown’s SensusAccess tool. 

The service allows anyone at Brown to convert inaccessible documents (e.g. image-based PDFs, JPEG photos, PowerPoint presentations) into more accessible formats. It uses optical-character recognition (OCR) to make texts searchable, selectable, and screen-reader friendly. 

The service can also be used to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audiobooks, e-books, and digital Braille. In your course, you can choose to provide alternative formats on your own, or highlight this resource for students in case they would like to generate alternative formats that best suit their learning style. 

To use the tool, visit the SensusAccess page and scroll to the Use SensusAccess section. To learn about the tool and accessibility best practices, visit the SensusAccess E-Learning Course.

Additional Resources:

Previous Article Zoom accessibility
Next Article Accessible assessments
Still need help? Contact DLD