Our goal is to make our digital collections accessible to readers of all abilities. SUNY Oneonta is committed to complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. That commitment includes Electronic Accessibility, which provides equal access to online information at SUNY Oneonta.
The library has created this accessibility formatting guide to help you meet these standards.
By using the following accessibility guidelines when writing, formatting, and finalizing your document in Word or Google Docs before submitting to SOAR, you can ensure that it complies with online accessibility standards and—more importantly—can be read by everyone, regardless of physical, sensory, or cognitive ability.
This page offers step-by-step instructions about how to make your thesis or graduate project electronically accessible. For more resources, visit the SUNY Oneonta Electronic Accessibility webpage.
Pro tip: Apply the formatting changes after you have written your paper instead of while you are writing—focus on the content first, and format later.
Check your document accessibility with the MS Word Accessibility checker (not an option in Google Docs).
The most helpful thing you can do to make your documents accessible is to add alternative text (called alt text) to the tables, graphics, and images. Screen readers use alt-text to describe graphics to sight-impaired readers.
Paragraph & Header styles allow readers (including screen readers) to understand and follow your document’s reading order and hierarchy, from top-level chapter titles to subtitles to paragraph text. The following video shows how to use the Accessibility Checker and apply Heading Styles in Microsoft Word. Learn more about how to apply Heading Styles in your version of Word (or Google Docs).
Use Normal style for all paragraph text and anything that is not a section heading. Depending on your preferences, you can use Normal or No Spacing styles for tables, captions, etc.
Use Heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.) to establish levels of hierarchy in your section and subsection titles.
If you are using color to identify differences in data in text, images, of graphics, pay attention to contrast. Black and white provide the best contrast, and some color combinations are harder than others to decipher for visually impaired readers.