For individuals with a disability, an inaccessible electronic document can be a major obstacle in the learning process.  Content using color in the wrong way will not be communicated to a person who is color blind and color used to indicate a point of interest cannot be discerned by the visually impaired.  A document lacking sufficient structure or contrast will be difficult to navigate and read by those with specific learning disabilities such as Dyslexia.  People with poor visual acuity may use screen readers that read a document through synthesized speech.  A document will need to be structured to help a screen reader and end users understand, navigate, and communicate content that they may not be able to recognize on their own. 

Consultants at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching are available to work with you on a one-on-one basis to make your document as accessible as possible to all people.  Hands-on accessible materials training opportunities are available as well.  For training details, please read the Accessible Document/Materials Hands-On Training Opportunities in the Resources section below.

Accessible Syllabus Template

Making your course documents accessible will enable students in your course to fully utilize your materials and will help Temple to be a truly accessible university.  Students depend on your course syllabus for reading and homework assignments; therefore it is crucial that your materials are usable for all students.

Please visit the Template for Creating an Accessible Syllabus page to download an accessible template that you can use and edit to build your course syllabus.


Please note, you will be prompted to enter your AccessNet username and password before you will be directed to the Lynda.com Web Accessibility Principles course.

Creating Accessible Document Resources

Accessibility applies to not only technology and websites but also electronic documents such as those created using Microsoft Word or Excel. The following organizations have instructions on how to create accessible documents for distribution. 

Application Specific Resources




  • Accessibility Guidelines for Multimedia
    This document addresses  the presentation of multimedia in various permutations (live vs. pre-recorded; presented in person vs. over the internet; presented to the public vs. to a known-and-controlled audiences, such as a class) and how and when the multimedia needs to be accessible.


  • Accessible Charts (web)
    View Penn State's Accessibility site to view how to use visuals to convey complex images to users.
  • Equations (web)
    Making math equations accessible from Penn State