How can I create accessible materials for my class?

OCR Scanners

Before you scan a document for use in your class, first check if the document is already available electronically through one of the Library’s subscriptions. If the book is in the public domain, you can also check for electronic copies at Project Gutenberg.

If you cannot locate an electronic version of a text and you need to scan a book, use one of the Scannex scanners in the Library. These scanners can perform optical character recognition (OCR) which enable you to create a searchable PDF version of your document

When you are scanning, we recommend that you follow the best practices for creating quality scans

Note: Searchable PDFs are not the same thing as accessible PDFs. Accessible PDFs must be tagged PDFs. Please see the information below about SensusAccess and accessible PDFs for more information.


SensusAccess is a document conversion tool that you can use to create more accessible versions of your documents. For example, if you have an image-only PDF file, SensusAccess can convert the PDF into more accessible formats such as DOCX, Tagged PDF, and TXT.

SensusAccess is an automated conversion tool, so the quality of the original document will determine the quality of the conversion. Please review the best practices for creating quality scans. In addition, please see these tips that can help with cleaning up SensusAccess conversions.


Ally in bCourses

Ally is a built-in component of bCourses that allows instructors to check the accessibility of the documents that they have uploaded to their course. Ally displays indicators that signal the accessibility of the document. Watch the Ally Getting Started video for an example.

If the documents that you upload to bCourses have a low accessibility score, follow the recommended steps for remediating the document. 

Google Docs

When you create Google Docs, use the Grackle Docs add-on to check the accessibility of your doc. Grackle Docs will help you learn about any accessibility issues in your Google Doc as well as recommend steps to fix those issues.


Read more information about how to create accessible Google Docs.


Read more information about how to create accessible Word Documents.


Read more information about how to create accessible Word Documents.


Read more information about how to create accessible PowerPoint Presentations.

Large Print

In your preferred word processing program, adjust your documents so that they have these settings:

  • 20 pt size font

  • Fixed space font: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana

  • 1.5 line spacing

  • Use 6pt spacing after paragraphs

  • Sufficient color contrast. Do not use colors to show importance

  • use larger size font for headings

  • use double spacing for lists

  • isolate graphics / charts on separate pages (you can insert a manual page break to achieve this)


Create an accessible MS Word document. Use the DAISY WordToEPUB tool to create an accessible EPUB.


Read more information about how to use the DAISY WordToEPUB tool.