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VHT070104: Digital Accessibility: A How to Guide for Word and PDF Documents


Every person should have a similar experience and story when listening, reading, and navigating an electronic document. By addressing document accessibility during the creation of materials, educators will: increase student engagement with digital materials; provide a broader range of representation of material such as pictures, tables and videos; and, allow for action and expression based on the ability of assistive technologies to effectively interact with materials ("The UDL Guidelines", 2018). In this session, participants will get the how-to knowledge in making accessible Word and PDF documents. They will learn how to use headings, styles, alt text, accessibility checkers, and more.

Content Disclosure:  There is reference to the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines published by the Center for Special Technology (CAST) in 2018 in this presentation.   This publication is available at: at no fee.  

Learning Objectives

First Learning Objective: Describe one or more of the logical document structures using headers, styles, alternative text and using accessibility checkers within Word and Acrobat Pro.
Second Learning Objective: Describe one or more ways why digital accessibility is important to those who have a disability and those who do not.
Third Learning Objective: Identify two or more ways how to use the digital accessibility  resources presented to assist in improving practice.

Primary Strand

Vision and Hearing Technologies

Secondary Strand

Assistive Technology for Physical Access and Participation

Target Audience

  • Accessibility Professional
  • ADA Coordinator
  • Administrators
  • AT Specialists
  • Alternative Media Specialist
  • Caregivers
  • Communication Specialist
  • Consumers/Individuals with Disabilities
  • Consultants/Trainers
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Disability Services
  • Educators
  • Faculty/Instructors - Higher Education
  • Family Members
  • Government/Non-Profit Agencies
  • Instructional Technologist
  • Media Specialist
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Physical Therapists
  • Rehab Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Special Education Educators
  • Teachers of the Visually Impaired
  • Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Transition Coordinator
  • Visual Impairment Specialists
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Experience Level


Primary Life Cycle Addressed

Elementary - Secondary (K-12);Higher Education;Adult/ Senior

Content Area

Professional Area

Course Schedule

This course was included in the ATIA 2021: AT Connected virtual event education program.

Continuing Education Credits

For Satisfactory Completion and Continuing Education information, please visit: ATIA Online Education CEUs

This course is offered for the following CE Provider Credits:

For: 0.10 CEU Units or 1.0 CEU Hours.


Amy Norton, M.Ed., ATP, CAPS

EASTCONN, Assistive Technology Professional


Ms. Norton is an Assistive Technology Professional and Transition Coordinator at EASTCONN. She works with individuals with disabilities across the lifespan providing assessment, consultation and training. She assists districts with integrating the use of assistive technology into the general education classroom, curriculum and transition planning. Additionally, she works with the CT Tech Act and the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to assist adults with disabilities in preparing for work and in accomplishing tasks in work settings. She assists in meeting the telecommunications needs of individuals who are deaf/blind through the Access through Technology Program coordinated by the CT Tech Act. She is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Ms. Norton has conducted numerous presentations at various local, regional and national conferences including: ATIA Chicago, ATIA Orlando, TASH, CEA, CECA, CEMA, CREC Conference on Serving Youth & Adults with Learning Disabilities, and TechACCESS of Rhode Island.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No

Kerin Griffin, CTS

(add)ventures, Accessibility Expert


Kerin has been with EASTCONN for the last 4 years as the Web & Media Specialist, but has been in the technology field for 15 years. In her current role, she is the webmaster for the organization, the schools that EASTCONN administers, two local school districts, and two health insurance collaboratives. She also produces, films and edits various promotional videos for EASTCONN and other clients. Other duties include software sales, customer service, application development and training. Web and Digital Accessibility has become a passion of hers, receiving extensive training from WebAIM and The AT3 Center. Digital Accessibility presentations and trainings include: presenting at the Universal Design Conference at Goodwin College, state-wide in-person and virtual trainings, as well as one-on-one consultations. She received her Certified Technology Specialist Designation in August 2012 and continues to keep abreast with the latest technology trends.

Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
Salary from employment.

Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: No