Accessible Word, PDF, and Powerpoint Files

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When you create a new website or application, you probably have some ideas about how to make your pages accessible. If not, there are plenty of resources out there (a good starting point is webaim.org). If you develop a portal-type site that contains a lot of content in proprietary formats, such as Microsoft Word, or other document-type files such as PDFs, you should provide some guidelines for content managers to makes sure that these documents are also accessible. the US Department of Health & Human Services provides Section 508 checklists for accessible documents that can get you on the right track. In addition, if you work within government contract restraints, their Section 508 FAQ page answers questions that always seem to come up (basically answers the question “Do I really have to spend time and effort to do this or is there any way to get out of this Section 508 thing” – if you try to implement accessibility features, you will hear this all the time).