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RShare Digital Repository

Publishing accessible content to RShare

It’s important to ensure that all content that you upload to RShare is accessible for people with disabilities. Providing accessible content is crucial for ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to engage with and contribute to academic knowledge and scholarly research. Accessible content promotes inclusivity, diversity, and equity in academia, and helps to foster a more robust and informed scholarly community. 

Creating accessible documents

When authoring documents using Microsoft Office or Google Workspace, there are a few simple principles that are relevant for almost all document types.

  • Use semantic headings in a meaningful way that conveys hierarchy.
  • Add alternative (alt) text to all images, graphs and other media. 
  • Ensure links are self descriptive and make sense out of context. 
  • Use strong contrasting colours.
  • Avoid using colour as the only means of conveying information. Use a combination of shapes, text, and colour to distinguish information. 

For more guidance on creating accessible documents, please review the following resource: How to create accessible documents.

Exporting as an accessible PDF

Please note, Google Docs and Slides are not able to export accessible PDF. It's recommended to download the Google Doc as a Microsoft Word file before exporting as a PDF. 

  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Use the Accessibility Checker to identify issues with your document. 
  3. Ensure you save the document as an accessible PDF with tags.
    1. Windows: In the Save As dialog box, select Options. Select the “Document structure tags for accessibility” checkbox, and then select OK.
    2. Mac OS: In File Format, use the down arrow to browse through file types and select PDF. Select “Best for electronic distribution and accessibility (uses Microsoft online service)”

Remediating existing PDFs for accessibility

Don’t have access to the source Word or Google Doc file? Remediation in Acrobat DC can be a time consuming task. It’s most likely easier to start with a fresh document that follows best practices for accessibility. Before learning the complexities of tagging a PDF in Acrobat DC, content creators should be familiar with the basics of creating accessible documents first. Learn more about accessible PDFs.

Avoid uploading scanned content

PDFs consisting of scanned pages are essentially just a series of images and are therefore not accessible to people who use screen readers and/or digital literacy software. Scanned documents also do not provide any sort of structured data that can be indexed by search engines for discoverability. Only an OCR (optical character recognition) scanner can convert a scanned document into plain, selectable text.

For more information, please refer to “Scanned content” on the Accessible PDFs page.

Other document types and multimedia