Information Services

Creating accessible materials

How to make documents, presentations and online materials accessible.

Introduction to alternative formats

The University has a legal and moral responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to provide any of its documents, leaflets, electronic resources etc in an alternative format if requested by a disabled user. Examples of alternative formats are providing a document in large print, Braille, printed on coloured paper, a paper copy of an electronic resource or vice versa or an electronic resource in an alternative way eg: Word document instead of a PDF.The following information explains how to offer this service and what it involves, points to keep in mind are:

Large print and coloured paper

These are two of the most commonly requested alternative formats.

Word documents

A few simple steps to help make your Word documents more accessible.


It is possible to create PDFs that are accessible to most users.

Braille documents

A guide for dealing with requests for documents in Braille.

Audio CDs

Requests for documentation on audio CD are rare, but they can be time consuming.


Advice and tips on how to make your emails accessible.

PowerPoint presentations

In addition to making your presentations more accessible to disabled users, there are many advantages to creating accessible PowerPoint presentations.

Improving the Accessibility of PREZI

At the moment PREZI is often inaccessible to disabled people. The company have promised to address this in the future and hopefully things will improve, but in the meantime we would recommend that PREZI is not used. If you have to use PREZI the following are some guidelines to assist you in making it as accessible as possible.

Creating Accessible Exam Papers

The aim of this guidance is to provide staff with helpful and practical guidelines to assist in formatting exam papers to make them as accessible as possible for all users.

Creating Accessible Online Content for Websites, Wikis and Blogs

Creating accessible websites, wikis, blogs etc can be a complex issue and the following guidance is aimed at providing a brief overview of where to start. There are official guidelines available that cover this issue in depth. We would recommend you create your University websites using the University's content management system which will ensure most aspects of accessibility are covered. However, if you are creating a website, blog, wiki etc outwith Polopoly we would recommend you contact Viki Galt (details below) for an accessibility audit of the proposed site and bear in mind the points below. Currently, the two sets of guidelines that are most commonly referred to that cover this area are the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the British Standards Institute Code of Practice on website accessibility BS8878.The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines can be found at

Creating Accessible Courses in VLE's

The following is some general guidance on things to consider when creating your courses in a VLE to make sure they are as accessible as possible for disabled users. Accessible content is also likely to be more useable and therefore benefit all users.

Information screens

The following is some useful guidance to consider when producing content for computer information screens to ensure they are as accessible as possible.

Creating accessible handbooks

In response to requests from Schools asking for advice on how to create accessible handbooks, the Accessible Information Working Group (a former subgroup of the Student Disability Committee) has produced this guidance. Its aim is to provide course organisers with helpful and practical advice in order to assist them in making documents as accessible as possible for disabled users.

Creating accessible lectures/tutorials

The following guide aims to provide anyone lecturing or giving presentations with some quick, practical advice and tips to help make their presentations as accessible as possible.