What are accessible documents?
Digital accessibility means the digital content we create at Harvard should be usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. This includes the documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations that we create every day. Following accessibility best practices such as tagging your document with headings, writing good alternative text, and being mindful of color will make your documents more accessible to more people. Here are some tips to get you started.
How can I get started creating accessible documents?
If you use Microsoft 365 Office
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint each have a quick and easy accessibility checker right in the app. When you’re creating a document:
Click Review in the top menu bar
- Then click Check Accessibility
You’ll get a report letting you know if there are any accessibility issues, like hard-to-read text contrast or missing alternative text, and how to fix them.
If you use Google Docs
Grackle is a third-party service that scans your Google Docs and Slides for accessibility issues, and then guides you through the process of fixing them. The Grackle add-ons are currently available for users with Google accounts with g.harvard.edu, fas.harvard.edu, or college.harvard.edu email addresses. Learn more and get started with Grackle.
Where can I get help?
We’re here to help! If you need help creating accessible documents, or if you have any digital accessibility questions:
- Find your Digital Accessibility Liaison (DAL)
- Explore more resources on the Digital Accessibility Services (DAS) website
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Quick Fix: Outsource your document or PDF remediation to AbleDocs, Harvard’s preferred vendor for document remediation
Back to School: Accessibility Accommodations
Welcome back to campus! If you are a student who would like to request accommodations, contact your school's Local Student Disability Coordinator (LDC). Learn more about campus accessibility on the University Disability Resources website.
Harvard celebrates the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
On July 26, community members from across the University celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with an introduction from President Larry Bacow.
Watch the video to learn about initiatives that support students, staff, faculty, and the public with disabilities, and how everyone at the University has a role to play in making sure Harvard is inclusive and welcoming to all.
Upcoming trainings and events
- August 25-26: Digital Accessibility Foundations
- August 27: DAS Office Hours
- September 2: Digital Accessibility for Content Creators
- September 10: DAS Office Hours
- September 21: Introduction to Digital Accessibility and Harvard's Policies