Documents (Word, Docs)


Electronic documents (including those that people can download from your site or Canvas) are subject to the same accessibility requirements as websites. 

Who’s affected

Screen reader users, people with low vision, people with cognitive disabilities


Guideline 1.3.1 Info and Relationships 

What to do

In documents you’ll want to pay attention to: 

  • Heading structure: See Heading hierarchy.
  • Alt text: See Alternative (alt) text.
  • Meaningful link text: see Link text.
  • Data table accessibility video (Microsoft help video but same principles apply in Google Docs)
    • Include a header row and column headers
    • Only use tables for data. DO NOT use tables to influence the page layout (ie. create a two-column layout or a layout with rows)
  • List formatting (use numbered for lists with hierarchy or sequence, bulleted for lists without)
  • Color contrast: see Color contrast.

Recommended tools

Accessibility checker in Microsoft Word: We recommend using the native accessibility checker in Microsoft Word to check your documents for accessibility, even if it means converting your Google Doc to Word.