UM Today


New Tools to Aid Digital Document Accessibility

Make your digital content accessible to everyone. Check out two new tools that help produce accessible documents.

Accessibility experts recommend reducing or eliminating the use of PDFs, especially when posting to the web. The University of Mississippi's Digital Accessibility Solutions (DAS) team is proud to announce two new tools available to faculty, staff, and students that will help document accessibility across campus.

First, access to Equidox by Onix is available by request to any website content creator for remediation of existing PDF documents shared publicly on the university’s websites. These public-facing documents must meet the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and this software expedites and simplifies the process of accessibility remediation.

If departments would prefer to send documents to be remediated, we have additionally negotiated convenience contract pricing with Equidox.

Secondly, the UM Document Converter by Sensus Access converts documents into an alternate and more accessible format through a convenient, on-demand portal that is available 24/7 to all faculty, staff, and students.

Common uses of this tool include converting problematic, inaccessible scanned PDFs into either a Word document or text-recognized PDF that is more accessible to someone using assistive technology. The tool can also convert text documents into audio files, which can be particularly helpful to students who benefit from or prefer material in audio format.  

Inaccessible PDFs on the university’s website and in Blackboard courses create barriers for users with visual, motor, and cognitive disabilities and, in many cases, cause problems for the ever-increasing number of mobile device users.

DAS offers training and tools such as Equidox and UM Document Converter in an effort to support faculty and staff as they make their content more accessible.

UM accessibility specialists are offering multiple training sessions throughout the fall on web- and course-related document accessibility as well as specific sessions focused on these tools.