Accessibility by Design: The Basics

Workshop Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act establishes guidelines organizations must follow to ensure electronic/information technology fully accessible to everyone. This session will focus on the basics of designing documents, spreadsheets and presentations to ensure that when they are included as part of a distance education course they are fully accessible.


Katie Bridges is an Instructional Designer and Lead Quality Matters Coordinator at Georgia Highlands College in Cartersville, Georgia. Bridges earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Baker University in 2001 and Masters of Education Instructional Technology from University of Maryland University College in 2010. Bridges has a passion for instructional design, course development and design as well as curriculum design and development. Bridges is working her doctoral program at Valdosta State University.

Extended Abstract

This workshop would focus on teaching participants through active learning how to design content that meet accessibility guidelines of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Addresses frequently asked questions regarding the creation of accessible content. Provides introductory hands-on instruction of accessibility guidelines in MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Adobe PDFs. Upon completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

•    Define accessibility
•    Recall standards outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
•    Identify components of created content that do not meet the standards established by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
•    Demonstrate and/or explain how to modify created content in MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and/or Adobe PDFs to bring it into compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Participants will need to be an electronic devise that will allow them to open and manipulate Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Throughout the presentation participants will be asked to look at example files and decide where the formatting or content is not accessible. Participants will be provided with a handout that provides step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the basic functions outlined in the presentation. This is a BOYD session.