Research can be hard to access for people with disabilities, even with recent tools such as screen-readers and auto-captioning. Luckily, it has never been easier to make your work more accessible for a wide audience.

Below are a few resources to increase the accessibility of your presentations, articles, and images. This list is not exhaustive, and I did not create any of these resources and can’t guarantee their accuracy, but they have been useful for my own research. You probably spent many hours on your most recent article or presentation, why not spend five minutes making it easy to access to anyone who is interested?

If you have any other resources or suggestions related to accessibility in general or of my work specifically (I’m sure there are plenty of ways I can still make my own work easier to access), please feel free to email me.

Presentations, talks, and webconferences

Articles, website pages, and text documents

  • Section headers: One way to make documents easier to access for visually-impaired readers is to make sure your articles and other text-based documents have hierarchical section headers, so they work better with screen-reading technology. In text editors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, headers are easy to add to do by changing the “style” of your text. For web publishing, you can set styles in a similar way with a commercial website CMS like WordPress, or manually using CSS.
  • Equations as text: Some researchers insert mathematical equations in documents as images, rather than editable, highlightable text. Screen readers usually won’t be able to read those images aloud unless you manually include alt-text for each one (more on that below). If you’re using Microsoft Word, it’s easier to just write your equations in the built-in equation editor.
  • OCR for scanned documents: If you are using scanned pages of a book or an old article, for example to assign to a class as a reading, try to run it through optical character recognition software first. There are many free tools to use OCR online.

Plots, data visualizations, and other images

Other links and resources