Edited by Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, Department of Innovation and Technology; Karen Tamley, Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago. Contributors: Danielle DuMerer and Matthew Guilford, Department of Innovation & Technology; Laurie Dittman and Joseph Russo, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago
When implementing an accessible technology initiative, it is imperative that local government employees who generate information are provided with tools to help them ensure consistent compliance with the accessibility standards. Ideally, the local government should employ content or document management systems that implement standards on a systematic basis wherever possible. In addition, web content managers and others who create online content should be trained to adhere to the standards. For example, a web content manager should use meaningful page titles, employ alternative text for images, and provide natively accessible downloadable documents.
Many resources are available to help content authors create accessible documents and media in a variety of formats. Accessible documents are created using built-in structured mark-up and styles so that the document can be decoded by common assistive software. Both non-profit organizations and software developers provide tools that may be leveraged to make the most common document formats accessible. For example:
Microsoft provides a free online course that explains how to create accessible documents using Microsoft Office products.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is often employed by organizations so that documents maintain their original formatting but cannot be altered. Adobe provides Acrobat Accessibility Training Resources to assist in creating fully accessible PDFs.
WebAIM, a non-profit organization within the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University, provides a useful list of captioning resources that can be used to make video accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.