AccessAbility Services (AAS) is responsible for securing textbooks in alternative format for approved students who request them.
Students request specific texts from AAS based on what they learn in my.mtholyoke about their course readings. Faculty can assist in this effort by submitting book information and will find detailed submission instructions in my.mtholyoke.
E-books and digital textbooks are not always accessible. Every effort should be made to select E-books that are accessible. If you plan on using e-books or digital textbooks in your class and know that you have a student with an alternative format accommodation, please contact AccessAbility Services.
In general, documents (Word documents, Google documents, PowerPoint Presentations, Excel spreadsheets, web content, and PDFs, etc.) can be made accessible for the majority of readers. Follow the tips below to optimize your documents' accessible features:
Provide appropriate alternative text for images.
Hypertext (link text) should be descriptive and unique. Avoid “click here” links or links with vague names.
Provide alternative format(s) and/or provide contact info for users to request an alternative format.
JPG, PNG, and other image types (including image-only PDFs) are not accessible to screen readers. If you are distributing an image of text, the text of your image must be replicated in the body of the email or the webpage so that a screen reader can read the text.
PDF documents must include “selectable text” to be accessible. Double-click on a word to test this (as if you were going to copy/paste the word). For help on creating accessible/selectable PDFs, see below under How to Make Your PDF More Accessible.
A concise resource guide on creating accessible Microsoft Office documents can be found on the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) webpage.
See also Dos and Don'ts on Designing for Accessibility from the UK Government for handy posters that you can hang near your computer as design guideline cheat sheets.
Use already digitized articles whenever possible.
LITS can scan materials for courses, either personal materials or materials held in the library’s collection.
If you choose to scan your own documents, please follow these best practices:
MFD's (or multifunction devices) are located in many offices and in several public locations throughout the campus. Scanning is always free on any MFD. To scan accessibly:
PDF documents must include “selectable text”. You can test this by trying to double-click on an individual word or trying to select, copy and paste an excerpt into a Word document. Optical character recognition (OCR) is the conversion of images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded and "selectable" text. If your text is not selectable, OCR your documents to recognize text in image-only PDFs.
Here are a few basic best practices to ensure your email content is accessible to all of your audiences. If you're already familiar with web accessibility, these tips should come pretty easily to you.