Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CUNY LIBRARIES ARE OPEN ONLINE! We are open online for reference & instruction. E-resources are fully available. Library buildings remain closed.

Support Students Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis Donate Now

Open Educational Resources and Zero-Cost Learning: How to create an accessible syllabus

General syllabus accessiblity tips

A few key Word Document accessibility points:

  • For printed text, serif fonts such as Times and Times New Roman are regarded as the most readable font family.
  • Use 12 point or larger.
  • Give documents descriptive titles.
  • Use the built in styles to structure and organize your document.
  • Use built-in headings.
  • Use built-in lists for related items.
  • Use page layout/columns to create columns, do not use tabs or spaces to create columns.
  • Use tables to display data, not for layout. Keep tables simple.
  • Use alternative text (alt-text) for images, tables, charts and graphs you include in your document so they are “visible” to everyone. 
  • For complex tables and charts provide a detailed transcript.
  • Use descriptive text for links, don’t use  “click here” or “more”
  • Include a table of contents for long documents (Word can generate if you use styles).
  • Be cautious as to the colors you choose.
  • Provide sufficient color contrast.
  • Don’t use color as the sole way you relay information.
  • Check how document looks for colorblind individuals.

Instructions on Creating Accessible Word & PDF

Video on creating an accessible syllabus

Video created by Nashville State Community College on how to evaluate if your Word document is accessible.

Checklist to create accessible syllabus

This is a broad checklist of things to think about in your creation of an accessible course.