The Distance and Online Learning Section’s Web Committee continuously strives to build an inclusive, accessible web experience. We selected our WordPress theme and stock photography with inclusivity and accessibility in mind and regularly review new site content for accessibility barriers. If you experience a barrier or exclusion on our website, please contact the Web Committee co-chairs.

DOLS Google Docs Use

DOLS uses Google suite web apps for internal and external documents. Users of screen readers and other assistive technology will need to enable accessibility mode for these documents for full functionality. Use the keyboard shortcut Cntrl+Alt+Z or find Accessibility mode in the Tools menu to turn on accessibility mode in Google docs.

Expert screen reader users also suggest turning off virtual PC cursor / browse mode. With JAWS, use Insert + Z, and with NVDA use Insert + Spacebar to turn this mode off. For more information on using Google Docs in accessibility mode, consult Blind Tech Adventure’s How to Use Google Docs with a Screen Reader.

Google Docs has some limitations when creating accessible documents.

  • When creating a PDF from a Google Doc, the document must be exported to Word first.
  • Tables lack the ability to have tagged header rows and should be avoided.
  • Images cannot be tagged as decorative, avoid including decorative images.

Learn more: Google Docs and Accessibility

Accessibility Guidelines

ACRL Distance and Online Learning Section Accessibility Guidelines

DOLS Website Content Accessibility Checklist


  • Content is written in plain language
  • Content uses inclusive language
    • avoid ableist language
    • share diverse voices and emoji
    • evaluate text for assumptions of limited points of view
    • avoid relying on sensory characteristics alone for instructions

Tool: Hemingway App

Learn More: List of disability-related terms with negative connotations;


  • Headings (styles) are used to organize documents. Headings should describe the content that follows
  • Every page includes one, and only one, Heading 1 or title (style)
  • Additional headings are nested appropriately and not skipped

Learn more: Semantic Structure: Web Aim


  • Reduce use of complex images (ex. Infographics)
  • Include descriptive alt text
  • Textual content is coded, not presented as a complex image

Learn more: Alt Text for images: Web Aim


  • Link text is unique, descriptive, and concise
  • Links that open in a new window are used sparingly and are labeled
  • Links are styled to look like links (usually blue and underlined)

Learn more: Descriptive Links: Web Aim


  • Color alone is not used to convey meaning
  • Color meets contrast requirements (AA: 4.5:1, AAA: 7:1)

Learn more: Color Contrast Checker: Web Aim


  • Listed items should be styled using ordered (numbered) or unordered (bullets) lists as appropriate

Learn more: Lists from Princeton Accessibility


  • Tables include descriptive captions
  • Table rows and/or columns have headers
  • Information in tables is presented as simply as possible

Learn more: Accessible Tables: Web Aim


  • Fields are arranged logically
  • Fields are keyboard accessible
  • Fields are labeled in a way visible to screen readers

Learn more: Accessible Forms: Web Aim

Files & Video

  • Files and video available on the website follow the above guidelines and document specific guidelines to ensure an accessible experience for our community.