Making Documents More Accessible

Making Documents More Accessible


Whether you’re preparing information for staff, community partners, or the individuals you serve, you don’t need to be an accessibility expert to make your documents more accessible to readers of all abilities. Join Steve Kelley as we explore some of the simple ways to make documents more user-friendly and where to find additional guides and resources for taking the next steps.



Jennifer Ottowitz: Welcome to OIB-TAC’s monthly webinars, where our presenters share valuable information and helpful resources to support professionals working with older adults who are blind or vision impaired. Let’s check out this month’s webinar. 

Steve Kelley: Hello, and thanks for joining in today to the presentation on document accessibility. My name is Steve Kelly, and I'm one of the technology specialists at Hadley, and you can reach me at stephenk at hadleyhelps. org, and also you'll find me on lowvisiontech. com. So let's dive into document accessibility and see how far we get with this.

I'm going to start with taking a look at three different types of documents, PDFs, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint, and we'll get into some of the specifics on how we can make those documents a little bit more accessible. But first of all, I'd like to say that a lot of the accessibility that we're going to be taking a look at is kind of logical and a lot of it goes from document type to document type.

So, you know, it doesn't necessarily matter which document type you've decided to save to. I just want you to know that there are a lot of commonalities that go along with the accessibility in your document. So, hopefully that kind of makes it a little bit easier. You don't have to remember a whole lot of specifics from one to the next, although we will get into that as we move along.

So the first thing that I would like to talk about here is just the distinction between accessibility and usability. And I'd like to share with you a definition that I like about accessibility. Your primary task when making accessible documents is to ensure that the documents are structured correctly so that people's assistive technology can interact with your digital content that kind of makes sense.

And hopefully that makes it, I don't know, just a little bit easier. I think sometimes we can look at this as kind of a complex process and it's really not. We're just trying to make sure that our documents are open to as many people as possible. And then we have the other term of usability.

And what I find interesting about this is that I think we can have a document that's technically accessible, but may not be usable. So that's something that I just want to caution people about. You want to make sure that it's both. And let me give you an example. So on this slide, what I've done is I've selected a newsletter that I kind of found at random. But as you can see in this newsletter, we have four columns, and at one point we've got two of the columns merging for a photograph.

We've got links all over the place. We've got little icons. Really, there's not a whole lot of content other than a brief something or other to take you someplace else. And I find that it's just got a whole lot of visual clutter. Now, I haven't checked this with a screen reader to see if it's actually accessible, and for all I know, it may be, but visually, and I suspect even with a screen reader, we're going to find that this document just is a lot of clutter.

So, this is an example, I think, of one that might be a little less usable. So again, usability, we want to kind of stick to a simple document format regardless of which type we're using. And we want to make sure it's logical and, you know, not cluttered.

And so, our next slide is accessibility, what's the point, and in, in some ways, I would hope that this goes without saying, one of the things that I hear often about accessibility, and I often hear this about website accessibility, but I think it goes across the board to documents as well, is I get the sense that people think that accessibility is something that's added afterwards.

It's a bolt on, it's an extra, it's more work. And I'd like instead for people to think about accessibility as how many customers or viewers can you afford to lose? And I, I think that makes it a completely different framework there because essentially if your documents are not accessible, you're just closing the door on potential customers or potential viewers, you're losing business.

And I, I would like to think that that's the primary point of accessibility. Secondarily, of course, It's the law, and it wasn't the law yesterday. It's been the law since at least 1990, 34 years. And the Americans with Disabilities Act, we could also say, and it is part of Section 508, 1998 Rehab Act.

And I would argue that it's probably a part of the 1986 Rehab Act as well. So, the point here is that this is not anything new. This is the law and it's really something that we should take a little bit more seriously when we put together our documents.

So, all, the next slide is all files are not created with equal access in mind. I'm going to start here with the PDF file because I think a lot of us are, are familiar with PDFs. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and here's a little piece of trivia. It was created in 1993 by the Adobe company, and the whole idea behind this, as the file name suggests, is that this file was intended to be portable, so that it was viewable across devices and there are a lot more devices today, I think, than there were in 1993.

So in a sense, it's become widely popular because we can bring up a PDF on our smartphone or tablet, computer, PC, Mac, whatever. And technically, it is viewable in the same way across these platforms. And I think for that reason, we often think that the PDF is accessible by nature. It's not. The PDF is sometimes an image file.

So that that means that the text is part of the image. It's not digital text. And then if the PDF is made in an accessible way, the text is digital text. So it's something that the screen reader can read. And so let me give you an example, like a real life example of the difference between the two of those.

A couple years ago, I went to the Kennebunk Town Hall to read the voting guide for that year. And I found that it was a PDF document. I downloaded it. And as soon as I started using a screen reader on it, I realized it was an image file, which essentially meant the screen reader could not read it. So I was stuck for a few minutes.

Now, the quick fix and the one that I shared with the Kennebunk town, we're going to get to these quick fixes in just a moment, was to use Google Drive and Google Docs to make it slightly more accessible. But the bottom line is for a lot of folks, all of a sudden that voter's guide, which of course is very important to people, was completely inaccessible to someone using a screen reader.

So the first thing with the PDF that you want to ask is, is it an image file? And is it something that the screen reader is able to to read? Or is the screen reader able to read the text on it? So let's take a look at a couple of quick PDF fixes. So if you do find that you've got a PDF that's an image file as opposed to text, you can do what I suggested with Google Docs.

You want to upload it to Google Drive, open it in Google Docs, and then save it again as a PDF. And what happens is, Google Docs has an OCR optical character recognition component to its software, so it immediately makes that text, even though it starts as an image, it pulls the text out and makes it digital text so that it may not be 100 percent accessible, but at least it's then readable.

So we've we've taken a step towards accessibility there. It's not perfect, but it's certainly more accessible. And then we also have there are a number of converters out there. And I'm going to give you the name of one, and what the converter does is essentially you can upload the file, it converts the file to something that's a little bit more accessible, excuse me, and then you can download the file.

So the converter is. accessibility. huit. harvard. edu slash convert hyphen a hyphen file. Don't panic if you didn't get that because I do have it in the resources later. So you can always go to a converter and do that as well. And this is just one, it was just one that I found that was kind of convenient.

So let's take a look at PDF accessibility from the start on our next slide. And really this is the way we would like to do it and the way that we're going to have it closer to 100 percent accessibility as opposed to the quick fix. And here to do that you would open Adobe Acrobat Pro and make it accessible from the very start.

You could also open Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF file. And, this is kind of the direction we're going to head here, because our next step is we're just going to take a look at Microsoft Word and begin making the file as accessible as possible as we go through the process of creating the file.

What we want to do is we want to avoid scanning and saving it as a PDF or the Windows Print to PDF. Now, those are really convenient. But what happens is the PDF is saved as an image file, and that's kind of what we want to avoid here.

We're going to now, on our next slide, take a look at Microsoft Word and Accessibility. And my first resource, and I, I couldn't recommend this one highly enough. It's Understanding Document Accessibility, the Case Against PDFs from the book Understanding Document Accessibility. I take that back. I'm, I'm jumping ahead here.

This book, I thought, I just highlighted a couple of things from the chapter in this book. It's also a very good resource here and it's listed in the resources. But one of the cases against PDFs is that even when the PDF is tagged, and that just means that we've identified the different objects and labeled them in the PDF, and we've got digital text and all the other stuff that we need,

the properly formatted accessible PDF may be a little bit less accessible and usable on the smaller devices. And if you think about that sometimes with that PDF document on your smartphone or something, you're really moving around whether it's accessible or not. So it may not be the most usable for any one of us.

And one of the things that this chapter suggests is taking a look at HTML as another alternative, or of course, Microsoft Word. And HTML is an acronym, Hypertext Markup Language, and that's just what's used for web pages. So that may be an option, and you can also save Microsoft Word to an HTML document pretty easily.

So that might be an alternative as well for a slightly more accessible document. So now that I've completely turned you off of PDFs, let's take a look at Microsoft Word Accessibility Basics. Now this was the resource that I, I was promoting earlier. It's from Section 508. gov, and it's how to create accessible documents.

And it, it includes both videos for Microsoft Word and for PowerPoint. So it's a great resource, and I've tried to highlight some of the information in that. One of the first points that we want to take a look at here is that our file name and title is meaningful. And again, that probably seems like a bit of a no brainer, but I just know for myself there are many times I'm in a hurry or something like that, and I just go ahead and keep the file name, whatever the computer has called it, or name it something that's relatively meaningless to anyone but myself.

So one of the first and probably one of the easiest things about accessibility is to make sure that we name that file name, something that's meaningful. The second thing is make sure that at least in this case, following these basics that we use the D O C X, which is the newer form of Microsoft Word so that a lot of these built in features are stay within the document.

And remember here, too, that, you know, if we really do want a PDF, we can always save it here as a PDF, and that's going to retain some of those accessibility features.

So, again, regardless of the file type, let's make sure that that is a meaningful file name. So in our next slide here, we're going to take a look at headings and styles. Now, for headings and styles, I'd like you to think for a moment, and I recognize for some of you, including myself, that this isn't easy. I want you to think about the outline for style and headings.

Think about how you might outline your document all of those places that you highlight a section in bold that would be a heading, although just highlighting it in bold does not make it a heading or a style. So we've got to take it one step further. Now, headings in the style menu in Word work in a similar fashion to an outline.

So you have a title or heading one, and then you have subheadings. And what's cool is the screen reader can identify those headings and help a person navigate through the document. And it just keeps it in an organized fashion. So instead of just bolding those sections and assuming that we can visually see what is the title and the subheadings, let's take that next step and go down to open up styles and identify the headings.

So let's take a quick look at how that's done in the next slide.

So in this image we've got what we've done is we've highlighted some words, and we've gone into the properties, and you can do that with a right click or Shift F10, or open the menu and then just look for styles and you're going to find the styles. And here I've, I've circled headings and styles and you can see that there's a whole bunch of styles.

But again, let's just think of it in terms of an outline. We've got a title and then we're going to do heading one through, I think that there are a total of six headings. So there are plenty of subheadings there for you to choose from. But this is pretty straightforward. A really important built in feature that makes the document a lot more accessible, just adding those headings and styles.

And along the same lines, in our next slide, we're going to take a look at lists. Now, I know that we've all created lists in our documents, and some of us, myself included, have found it a little bit easier to identify that list with maybe a hyphen instead of a bullet, or maybe we number it, but we're not using the built in list feature.

So what's important to make the document accessible here for lists is to use that built in list feature, and we're going to try to avoid using tab, space, hyphens, all of those other ways that we, we have created lists in the past because that's not readable with the screen reader, and frankly, if you've used the built in list feature, It's a lot easier.

And again, shift with an F10 is going to take you there or right click. So, how to do it. You want to first select a paragraph from your your ribbon. And then you are going to choose list. And when you've chosen the list button, or I should what I should say is, is once you've opened paragraph, your list buttons appear as bulleted numbers and so on. So choose the one that you want, and you can just begin putting in the list.

Here is the picture of the built in lists, where again, we're going to choose from the home button in the ribbon and then we're going to choose paragraph and then just kind of move on to select the list that we want.

Alright, along the same lines, we have the columns feature. And, again, I suspect that all of us have put columns into our documents using space and tab and all kinds of different ways. Perhaps just because we weren't even aware that there was a built in column feature. It's so important to use the built in column feature because what's going to happen is without it, the text is not going to flow properly.

It's not going to stay in line. So anyone using a screen reader is going to be all over the place with your, with your columns if you, if you don't use this feature. So, you want to select built in columns formattings instead of using your tab and your space. And to do that, from the ribbon, you're going to first select layout and then columns. And the columns is going to be a button with with columns selected and you can choose the number of columns that you'd like to use.

And the idea here is the same as lists. Columns is to avoid creating these columns, you know, with our tab and our space key. So let's take a look at how we're going to find these built in columns. So again, in this image, we're going to go to layout from the ribbon, and then we're going to choose the column that we want to use.

And, and there we go. We'll be able to select and use the columns. And again, I think I would emphasize that we want to try to keep this simple. So perhaps limiting it to maybe two columns, if possible, makes a lot of sense to me.

Next we're going to go on to tables and before we do I'm going to take a sip.

Now tables too has a built in function, and I think it's really critical that if we're going to include a table that we use one of these built in functions, the other thing is with either the table and Microsoft Word or the table and PowerPoint, we don't want a complex table. We want a, a simple table without merged cells in the header.

And we want to make sure that we've got both the header row labeled and column labeled so that the table is navigable with a screen reader. And one of the ways that we can do that. with, even without a screen reader. It's just to make sure that when we start in the very first cell in the top left of the table and use the tab key, that it moves through the table in the same logical order that you intended.

So with our tables, we're going to use that built in table feature and here too, I think I would also refer anyone who's doing a whole lot of tables to go back to that Section 508. gov video for a more detailed instruction. We're just going to touch on some of the bullet points here.

So we want to make sure that it's a simple data table to, to make sure that it's accessible. The complex data tables, as I mentioned, are not accessible because you've merged some cells and that just won't work. And these have merged cells or multiple header rows. And that's another thing to avoid is the multiple header rows.

So the top row is the header, and use your, as I mentioned, use your tab key to move through just to see if you can get from the top to the bottom in the same logical order that you hoped. So open the table properties to get there, and again, this is a Shift 10 when when you're on the table to make sure that it's that it's also in line. That's another important feature because we want to make sure that it's going to be in line with the rest of the text. And let's take a look at the image of that.

So in this image of the table of properties, what we have is none selected on the left side for text wrapping and we just want to make sure that this table is in line with the rest of the text so it all flows logically. Alright, so that we're also going to cover tables in just a second when we get into a PowerPoint. So we'll pick up another couple features there.

So in our next slide, we're going to talk about links. And again, links is probably one of the easiest places to be accessible, but it's also one of the places where I think it's, it's also quite easy to be sloppy. What we want to use when we've got a link in our document is clear meaningful descriptions for the link.

So, how many of us have seen click here? Okay, and it's, you know, it's hyperlinked. And I'm, I'm, I'm raising my hand. And I, and I think a lot of us have moved past that. Click here is absolutely meaningless. I mean, it does tell us to click there, but it tells us nothing about what the link is about, why we want to go to that link or anything like that.

So below click here, I also have a link that's titled NRTC: Creating an Accessible Document, and by the way, this is a really excellent resource, but by labeling the link NRTC: Creating an Accessible Document, we know exactly what that link is, and that's the whole idea behind a meaningful title for our link.

So let's do that in the future.

Header and footer. Now, here's something kind of interesting in, in both Word and we're going to find this again in PowerPoint. Any information in the header and footer is not always accessible. So, anytime we've got vital information, that should also appear in the main body of the text. And again, this is something we're going to find in PowerPoint.

So, just duplicate it again in the main body of the text.

In our next slide here, we're, this is, again, this is kind of one of the easiest and most overlooked feature, I think, for accessibility. Both in websites and in documents. And in this slide is images and alternative text. Now alternative text is also sometimes called alt text. The whole notion of alternative text for, it could be an image, it could be an object, it could be a chart.

I, I believe that there's even a place for tables. All of these things are going to be so much more accessible if there's a text based description for them. And this can be done in a number of ways.

Certainly in the latest version of Microsoft Word, most images and objects, when you pull up the properties menu, and again, that's right click Shift F10, or the menu. It's, if you look, you're going to find a place where you can put in alt text or alternative text. And you want to type in, not necessarily a description of the item, you want to type in the purpose of the item in your alt text.

Another way, if you're not able to find that, you could also just add this as a secondary- add a caption, or describe the, the image in the text that surrounds it. So you can do it in multiple ways. You don't have to just do it by finding that field. Although if that, if the alt text form is there for the document, by all means, it needs to be filled out.

In our next slide, add text to colors and shapes. Now, this kind of is similar to what we were just talking about here with identifying the, the images. But here, anytime you have, you're, you're relying on either a shape, a size, or a color to convey any kind of meaning. You want to make sure that you've added some text for it, and here's an example.

So if I were, in my document, if I was using red, the color red or the color green, like red to promote stopping or green to promote going. I need to add to that color red the text Stop and the same with the green, I need to add the text Go because just relying on the color or the shape is just, that's not accessible.

Kind of along the same lines is we have color and contrast for a lot of people, just if there isn't proper contrast or if we're relying too much on color, the document's not going to be accessible. And the contrast ratio, and we're going to talk about this in just a minute, needs to be 4.1: 1 or higher to make it accessible.

And there are different analyzers out there, but I'll just show you just on the next slide some just some quick guidelines. Also large print text. I have traditionally 16 point to 18 point font. But, as I was reading, I found that 14 point font bold was also considered large print. So just keep that in mind.

Let's use a large print, and we want to use a font that is without decoration, Sans Serif. So, those fonts are like Arial and Helvetica. APH has even got its own font. Or at least it did.

And we'll take a look here at color and contrast examples in this slide that you can see on the screen. And the slide starts out on the left with white text on a yellow section. And it goes to white text on red, white text on green, white text on blue, white text on black. And the white text on yellow and red doesn't work.

It doesn't pass the 4.1 ratio. It's much lower. The first one that does pass is the white text on green. And, you know, the interesting thing about this example is that the last two, white text on blue, and white text on black. Both of those are well over the ratio. So, kind of as a rule of thumb, that's a good place to go with, with this.

I'm sorry, in the the example with green, I misspoke. It's black text on green. And that, that is a 4.1, so that is compliant.

So, let's take a look at a couple of tips now that we've kind of gone through some of these basics here.

In Microsoft Word, as there's a feature called Read Aloud, and you can usually bring that up with Alt, Control, and Space, but there's also a way to enable Read Aloud in the, from the menu. And what's cool about the Read Aloud, for those folks who don't read aloud, If you aren't familiar with screen readers, Read Aloud will just allow you to go from the top to the bottom of the document and make sure that it's in some kind of logical order and it will go over some of the features that we talked about and make sure that all of those are read as you would want them.

Make sure again that you're using the built in accessibility features, and there's also a built in accessibility checker that is under review in the menu ribbon. So check that out. And this next slide has got an image of the accessibility checker. So again, to bring this up, you'll select review from the ribbon, and then you're going to select the accessibility button and you'll get there.

All right, so that's going to wrap it up here for Microsoft Word, and we're just going to move on to our slide on, and begin Microsoft PowerPoint, and keep in mind, the basics that we've covered with Microsoft Word are, we're also going to see those in PowerPoint And my first bullet here is how to author and test Microsoft PowerPoint presentations for accessibility.

And this is on Section 508. gov. So once again, this is an excellent resource to you know, kind of dive into this a little bit more. It's got some videos and it just, it's really helpful and, and a little bit more comprehensive.

One of the first questions that I would ask is, why are we using PowerPoint? Personally, it's not, it's not one of my favorites for a couple of different reasons. I, I think most everything can be done with Microsoft Word, although, I guess with Word, trying to do a presentation like this would be a little bit more difficult.

I feel like a lot of PowerPoint, and I think you'll also find this suggested elsewhere, that a lot of these things can be accomplished in Word or HTML instead, and it might be worth, I guess the reason I'm bringing that up is not to pass along my bias towards PowerPoint, but just to suggest that take a look at the reason that you're using PowerPoint and think about whether it can be done with one of the other formats that might be a little bit more accessible.

And lastly, I mean, PowerPoint allows you to do some special effects, which I guess you can also add to Word, too. But I think we see them a lot more often in PowerPoint. And we really want to be asking, are any of those special effects accessible? And for the most part, any of those, particularly anything flashing needs to be taken right out of PowerPoint, because not only is it not accessible, but it can actually be dangerous for some viewers.

The flashing lights can trigger a seizure. So, let's get rid of those. All right, so here we are with some of our basics. And the first basic with PowerPoint kind of along the lines with some of those nice moving features that we might want to add, eliminate them. Keep it, keep it simple. So when you, when you go to choose your theme, select a simple theme.

Like Microsoft Word, we want to make sure that that color contrast ratio in theme and text is going to be 4. 5 to 1 or higher. And we'll take a look at the, the chart one more time. Regarding that color contrast, there is an analyzer that we can use and again, I'm going to read the URL here, but just know that it's in the resources. So that would be triple W dot T P G I dot com slash color hyphen contrast hyphen checker. And you can go there and it will take a look at your document and let you know whether those colors are fall within that ratio. So that's a quick way to do it if you, if you want to get a little bit more technical.

Again, with your font. You want to use a Sans Serif font, 14 point bold to 18 point font for large print. And of course you could go higher if you'd like to. And let's take a look at that chart again for the color and contrast examples.

And again, our white on yellow, white on red, they don't match the ratio we're trying to reach. The black on green does. That's the first that actually does. It makes it to 4. 5 to 1. But really the colors that are best are white on blue or white on black.

The next slide is just a reminder. We've got a lot of information on the slide that PowerPoint and Word have got a lot of similarities, and we'll just take a quick look at those. The basic accessibility features for PowerPoint and Word are very similar. Make sure to look for those built in features we're going to find in PowerPoint, we're going to find some of the same things.

We're going to find that column feature. And to get there, again, from the, the ribbon we're going to go home, paragraphs, and then look for the column button where we can add the columns. We've also got built in list feature. And to do that, we would go to the home button, paragraph, and then select the list, whether we're using a bulleted list or say, a numbered list.

And, again, really important, alt text is added by selecting the image and then opening the menu with our Shift F10 or right clicking and then looking for that alt text. Make sure that we describe, again, the purpose of the image, not necessarily a description of the image. And as a rule of thumb, if you could take the image out of your document and just live with the alt text, you've probably done a good job of it.

Alright, so in our next image here, we've just taken a look at the PowerPoint lists and columns features that we're going to find under Paragraph and both of those are circled on this menu here for you to see. Again, click on Home, Paragraph, and then you can choose your column or list button for that.

Alright. Our next slide here is just a look at a pretty simple PowerPoint table. And again, tables are very similar in PowerPoint as they are in Microsoft Word. But here in this table, you can see that in the top row, we have created the header, and the first column, we've got the names for the rows as well. And this is going to make the table a lot more accessible.

In short, PowerPoint tables are like Word tables, and we've got those built in features. And so from the Ribbon, we're going to select when we want to add that header row, which is important, we want to first select the table, and then we're going to bring up the features of the table by using our Shift F10.

And I've got an image of that that's coming right up and I just want to go back for a moment. So we're going to select the table and then we're going to select table design from the ribbon. And then we're going to make sure that we've checked the header row and the first column if desired, and that's what you're going to see in this image right here, just the red lines around both of those features. And you'll also find the same menu in Microsoft Word for your tables.

All right, our next slide is multimedia files, and if we're going to add audio files to our PowerPoint, It's going to require a transcript. So keep that in mind. Video only files. It's going to require an audio description. And if we're adding synchronized files that are files that both have audio and video, it's going to require descriptive audio and captioning.

So anytime you're adding those things, keep that in mind. And once again, eliminate all flashing objects from the PowerPoint presentation.

All right. So, we've got the resources slide. But here are a couple of things that I'd like to just reiterate as we wrap up here. We want to remember that there are similarities in all of these file types, and the similarities are that, you know, we're, we're going to try to keep things simple, logical, and use some of these built in features. And that starts with making sure that the file name makes sense. Next, we're going to make sure that our color, contrast, and font is something that's easy to see and is just easy to understand.

So, we're going to use the built in features for things like lists, columns, and tables. And also, let's make sure every one of our objects or images has an alt text. And or and or captioning, but certainly if there's alt text, we want to make sure that we get that in and then if you can check your work with a screen reader or the read aloud feature, that's what's really critical I think.

And the more familiar we become with that, I think the more accessible our documents are going to become. We do have a resource list here. And again, the first resource I'm gonna recommend is the the resource here from the NRTC, which is just wonderful. I just want to let you know that, and it's probably much easier than me reading the resources to you, but you're going to be able to find the resources list to download.

And I'm going to just wrap it up there rather than to try to read these lists, but the NRTC has got a wonderful resource right on their website. So you want to look at that. It's called Accessibility Resources. Check that out. And then I've already mentioned this a couple of times. We've got the Section 508. gov, and they have a whole section on creating accessible documents, covers both Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

And then the last one that I include- well, we've also got the conversion form and I've mentioned that a couple of times. And the last one is kind of an interesting one. It's called Understanding Document Accessibility. And this comes from Pressbooks, and it's basically a textbook. So for somebody who really wants to get into this a little bit deeper, that's a wonderful resource. And then, of course, the Contrast Analyzer, which I've given several times.

So I just would like to thank everybody for sticking around and learning a little bit more about document accessibility. And I think as you move along and you add some of these tips and tricks into your documents, you're going to find that they are a lot more accessible and certainly compliant with the law, but that door that you might be closing with an inaccessible document is going to be opened a little bit more.

So thanks again.

Jennifer Ottowitz: This has been OIB-TAC’s monthly webinar. Thanks for tuning in. Find recordings of our past webinars on our YouTube channel, and discover all of our many resources at O I B hyphen T A C dot O R G. That’s Like us on social media and share our resources with your colleagues and friends. Until next time. 

Funding statement: The Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC) is a development of the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi State University, focused on agencies serving older individuals who are blind. This grant, H177Z200001, is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the U.S. Department of Education.  

Contact us: To contact the presenter, Steve Kelley, email You can also find him on For more information about OIB-TAC, please visit our website, Also, visit our other NRTC websites, and Visit NRTC on Facebook at and on X/Twitter at Our mailing address is P.O. Box 6189, 205 Morgan Avenue, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Our phone number is 662.352.2001. 





Steve Kelley, CVRT, CRC, CATIS

Headshot of Steve Kelley. Steve is wearing a tuxedo in a low lighting room.Steve found his way into the field of blindness rehabilitation and assistive technology as a computer user trying to stay in the game with a vision impairment himself. Steve received master's degrees in Blindness Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Counseling from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has several professional certifications—CVRT, CRC, and CATIS. Most of Steve’s experience is in working with adult learners face-to-face in their homes or in a center-based program.

Steve works as a specialist with the Assistive Technology Team at Hadley, helping develop training workshops, working with members remotely, and co-hosting several Hadley discussion groups. You can also find Steve at and as one of the regular writers for AFB AccessWorld and