We strongly discourage documents being published on the website as they are often not accessible, meaning they do not comply with Government accessibility guidance. If you do need to publish a document, please ensure that it is accessible. It is very important that you follow the guidance below carefully.
Guidelines for ensuring that your documents are accessible
- All documents, including PDFs must be fully accessible
- Documents must have an informative and meaningful title
- Text should be left aligned, not justified
- Avoid underlining, except for links
- Do not use colour or shape alone to show meaning
- Do not use images containing text
- All links should be meaningful out of context, without reading the surrounding text. Avoid 'click here' and 'read more'.
- Tables should only be used for data, not for laying out other types of content
- Avoid splitting or merging cells in tables
- Tables must have appropriate alt text
- Each table must have one header row and one header column. The headers should not be visually communicated by formatting the text using size or colour
- Always run your final document through the programme’s accessibility checker before converting to PDF.
- Please note, if you are using the accessibility checker on Word, it doesnt pick up issues with headings and text alignment. Please ensure that correct headings and hierarchy are used, and the text is left aligned to ensure that the document is accessible, in addition to any picked up from an accessibility check.
Recommendations for presentations (either PowerPoint or PDF)
- Use unique slide titles, to allow screen readers to skim slides to navigate
- Make hyperlinks, images and tables accessible
- Set reading order of slide content, this is particularly important if there is more than one text box. Screen readers read the elements of a slide in the order they were added in, which might be different from the intended order.
University guidance on creating accessible documents
- University of Oxford guidance on creating accessible documents
- Creating accessible handouts and documents (University of Oxford Centre for Teaching and Learning)
Dominik Lukeš, Learning Technologist in Centre for Teaching and Learning offers 15 minute editalong consultations for University of Oxford staff or students to have a document or presentation reviewed for readability and accessibility.
Other Useful resources on accessible documents
- A GOV.UK blog on the pitfalls of PDF's (GOV.UK)
- Check the accessibility of a document (WebAIM)
- Publishing accessible documents (GOV.UK)