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Faculty Services & Resources

Accessibility and Library Materials

The primary goal of our collection management policy is to ensure Cushing Library collections are current, relevant, accessible, and of the upmost benefit to the students, faculty, and staff of Holy Names University. Our database vendors provide their digital content in accessible formats such as readable PDF files, screen reader friendly HTML, and captioning for streaming media. If you encounter inaccessible materials, let us know and we can work with the vendor to obtain an accessible format. 

The library has a KIC Book Edge scanner with software capabilities to scan text documents and output them in various formats including searchable PDF, rich text document, or audio file. 

For support with inaccessible materials and resources, please email

Making Documents Accessible

Check Accessibility

Word's "Check Accessibility" feature will review your document and list errors, warnings, and recommend tips on how to make the content easier for people with disabilities to read and edit. Watch this quick video on how to run Check Accessibility in Word or follow the steps below.

If you're working on the desktop application, you will find "Check Accessibility" under the Tools menu. 

Word desktop application check accessibility feature



For the web Word application, you can run "Check Accessibility" under the Review tab. 

Word web check accessibility feature


Using Alt Text for Images and Tables

By adding alternative text to an image, you can provide a brief description of the image to make it accessible. Once you insert an image, you can add Alt Text under the Picture Format feature

Word alt text for picture format

When you insert a table in your document, you can also use alt text to provide a description of the table. Under the Table Design Layout tab, you will find the option for properties for your table. 

Table properties in Word

Table properties alt text

Check Accessibility

To check if your slides created in PowerPoint meet accessibility standards, run the Check Accessibility feature from the desktop app under the Tools menu. 

PowerPoint check accessibility feature in tools menu

You can find the Check Accessibility feature on the web version under the Review tab. 

Web PowerPoint app check accessibility feature


Tips on Creating Accessible Slides

  • Use alternative text to describe images you insert in your slides
  • Avoid using text in images to convey information
  • Check that embedded videos have closed captions or video transcripts
  • Use high color contrast for text and background colors
  • Text can only be read by screen readers when you enter it in the text boxes from a built-in slide design. Select a slide format design that will fit your needs and avoid adding additional text boxes. 

Screen reader friendly text slides

Word documents can be saved as accessible PDFs. When you select save as, select the file format for PDF and select the button for "Best for electronic distribution and accessibility." 

Save as PDF document