Converting Inaccessible Files to Accessible

Issues arise when the course files and documents posted on a webpage are completely inaccessible or are difficult to be used by a screenreader. The most common instance of a file being inaccessible is when a document is scanned and posted directly on a website as a PDF without going through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program.

The first step in making scanned documents accessible to students is running OCR on the scanned page image. It converts images into text that can be searched, read by screenreaders, and exported to other formats.

There are ways you or students can make  files more accessible; options are listed below.

  1. UC Berkeley's Research, Teaching, & Learning (RTL) offers the service of running files through SensusAccesswhich will process the image-based files to generate text-based versions of the document. RTL also offers Ally in bCourses, which provide instructors with visual indicators next to uploaded course documents so instructors can see accessibility scores and learn how to create more accessible versions.
  2. Use Adobe Acrobat's OCR Text Recognition feature to covert the document into a PDF with text that is accessible to screenreaders. 
    1. Creating Accessible PDF Documents In Adobe Acrobat X
    2. Creating Accessible PDF Documents In Adobe Acrobat XI
  3. Run your document through another OCR program such as OmniPage or ABBYY FineReader.