Creating an Accessible Syllabus

(...and other documents.)

Accessible Syllabus Example/Template


Create an accessible syllabus by using the tools in Word.

screen shot of word tool bar


Assistive device users report that this is the primary way they navigate documents.

  • Use heading structure to identify sections and subsections of your document (create an outline). Select appropriate headings in the tool bar in Word. 
  • Heading 1 should only be used once - for the title of your document. 

About headings

Alt Text

  • All images (photos, tables, graphs, logos, icons, etc.) must have Alt (alternate text, or image descritption text), which describes and contextualizes the visual element.

How to add Alt Text

screen shot from word indicating where to add alt text


  • Instead of URLs, use self-describing hyperlinks that provide descriptive text for hyperlinks. (You may include URLs for print versions of the document.)
  • Do not use "Here", "Click here", or "Read More" for links.   Be specific.

Example: For more information, see the How to Link Text webpage.


  • Use bulleted and numbered lists that are formatted using the tools in your word processing software (Word) when listing items.
  • Lists are preferrable to tables (for class schedule, for example).

About Lists


  • Use tables sparingly.
  • Tables should be used for tabular data only. Do NOT use tables for the  layout of text or images.
  • Do not use tabs or spaces to create columns of information that look like a table.
  • Identify the header row or column in a table.
  • Provide Alt Text, especailly if the table is complex or if there is more than one table.
  • Do not add lines to divide cells.

About Tables


  • Avoid all caps (ALL CAPS) as they can be difficult to read.
  • Use bold for emphasis.  Reserve underline for hyperlinks.
  • If using color, be aware of color contrast. Use a Color Contrast Checker.
  • Use a clear and readable font in an appropriate size.

Creating an Accessible PDF

You may create an accessible PDF from an accessible Word document by saving it the correct way.