School of Health and Human Sciences

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Office of Educational Innovation and Design

Accessibility refers to making all materials comprehensible and all activities able to be engaged in by all people. In our environment, it means making course materials and learning activities accessible to all students. Many see this to be a basic human right. It is also UNCG policy as well as law for publicly funded institutions such as ours.

Canvas tools are accessible; however, the content put in a course must be accessible as well.

Frances Clerk and Andrew Kennedy have created an excellent  Accessibility website
to support us to do this.

Please see the following:

Overview of Accessibility

  • This page provides general information that applies to all the software tutorials on the site. It also provides links to other support resources.

MS Word

  • Many Word features – such as headings – are designed to be accessible.  You just have to use them.
  • Download the MS Word Accessibility Tutorial(docx).  It is organized into a modest number of topics and is almost all screen captures and examples.  It contains a Table of Contents facilitating quick reference.
  • Note: a tutorial on making PDFs accessible will be forthcoming. However, it is more challenging to create an accessible PDF from scratch. Your best bet is to create an accessible Word document and convert it to PDF.  At the end of the tutorial, you will find two settings that are important to address as you do the conversion.

MS PowerPoint

  • Again, multiple functions support accessibility already.
  • Download the MS PowerPoint Tutorial (pptx). The tutorial is in PPTX format, so that it can be used to test using the PPTX accessibility checker, as well as to read.  Some of the material is similar, given that Word and PPTX have common features. However, there are some different functions as PPTX  supports more multimedia. In general, it is best to use existing Microsoft functions, including a pre-built layout.
  • Important: PowerPoint for Mac does not create accessible PDFs.  Open PPTX in Windows and convert.


  • This tutorial is a mini-website with tabs at the top. After reading the Introduction, click the Accessibility Topics tab at the top. Under that tab, you will see a left menu listing topics addressed.