Accessible documents

Documents that are published on websites and other digital platforms must be accessible. This means that they must be tagged properly to be read correctly by a screen reader or speech synthesis.

By using the right styling for headings, preambles, body text and other text parts, screen readers or similar aids can recognise the formats and adapt the reading. That is also a good reason for providing digital text, and not scanned images.

Using the accessibility function in Office365

Many of the programs in the Office365 suite have built-in functionality for reviewing and fixing accessibility issues. Use this functionality every time you are publishing a document. Microsoft has guides describing how to use the Accessibility Checker in English and other languages for Windows and Mac.

How to improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker (Microsoft Office 365)

Create accessible documents

There is a basic document template for Microsoft Word with the university's logo that has been made accessible. The document template is available in both English and Swedish. However, an accessible document template is no guarantee for accomplishing an accessible end-result, so please make sure to analyse the completed document to find potential shortages.

Guides and templates in English

Templates with logo (Aurora)

Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities (Microsoft)

Create accessible PDFs (Microsoft Support)

Check accessibility of PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Pro (Adobe)

Guides and templates in Swedish

Mallar med universitetets logotyp (Aurora)

Skapa tillgängliga dokument i Microsoft Word (Umeå University Manual)

Skapa tillgängliga PDF-filer från Microsoft Word (Umeå University Manual)

Åtgärda icke-tillgängliga PDF-dokument med Adobe Acrobat Pro (Umeå University Manual)

Check document accessibility

Beside using accessible document templates and the built-in functionality in Office365, there are other ways of analysing the accessibility of a document:

  • PAC 2021, a free tool installed on your computed.
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro has a built-in accessibility checker.
  • Try reading the document through a speech synthesis tool or screen reader.
  • If possible, ask someone who uses screen reading tools or similar to test your document.


Jonas Mattebo