Maintain Accessible Documents
Finally, a major benefit of having an accessible web version of your document content is you can now treat your accessible document as a master copy of your content. Use this master document to collaborate with others and track changes of edits made.
Track Changes in Microsoft Word, or the Suggesting Mode in Google Docs allow you to easily track the changes needed to your content. As edits are reviewed and approved, you can use the tracked changes as a guide for what needs to be updated on the website and mark them complete in your document once updated on the web. This creates a history of the work completed and helps you manage your web content more efficiently.
Then, if needed, return to the steps in this guide to generate an updated, accessible document to add as a downloadable resource to your web content.
Accessible Content Lifecycle
In an accessible content lifecycle, you start by drafting your content.
A good practice for creating accessible content is to generate a draft in a Word processor. This is an easier platform for editing, outlining, and making changes than your final publishing platform.
Style and Check for Accessibility
After drafting your content style and check for accessibility either using the accessibility tools for a document, a webpage, or both.
Schedule Regular Reviews
After publishing, schedule a time to review your content regularly. This could be by semester, annually, or even monthly.
Collaborate on Updates
Identify who is responsible for making edits to your documents and collaborate with them using the available collaboration tools such as Track Changes in Word or Suggesting in Google Docs.
Identify Changes and Edit Document
Finally, identify what changes need to be made and then make the edits in your document. Use the changes in your document as a guide for updating your web content.
You can repeat this cycle as many times as needed for your content. When your content reaches the end of its life cycle, for example it is no longer needed or is no longer relevant for your audience you can remove it from the web so it’s no longer accessible by your readers.
Creating accessible content, whether in a document or a webpage, requires advance planning and lots of practice. An accessible workflow, like the one described in this guide, can help you plan and practice more effectively the next time you start a project.
However, workflows take several forms and this is just one recommendation. As you become comfortable creating accessible content, you can adjust the workflow so it works best for you.
If you have questions or need assistance on your next project, contact the OIT Web Accessibility Team at OITAccessibility@BoiseState.edu.