Supports for Creating Accessible Content
As per the NYC DOE’s agreement with the US DOE’s Office of Civil Rights all DOE Staff (central and schools) and Vendors doing business with the DOE must provide products, information, and resources–even print ones–in a digital format that is accessible to people with disabilities and/or who speak a language other than English. In accordance with local city and state laws, we are required to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA level.
We have developed the following resources to support everyone in understanding digital accessibility and ensuring all our products are indeed accessible to all. We recently moved this content, so it is available to all. So please share these Accessibility and Websites resources with all staff and vendors.
Accessibility is the right thing to do, and it is legally required. There are no exceptions.
Assign an Accessibility Point of Contact
There should be a Digital Accessibility point of contact for your office, initiative, or school. In offices, they’re the content creators. In schools, this is often the Tech School Point of Contact (SPOC) or Webmaster. This person can support others in learning to create accessible content. They should:
- Attend FREE on-demand accessibility training.
- Visit our Making Accessible Content page on the InfoHub.
- Verify your work is accessible:
- If folks need additional support after attending a training and reviewing the above resources, they can book a consultation with our team members.
This person is who will help you and your team ensure the digital accessibility of all your:
- Learning/instructional materials
- Communications/outreach, including:
School Website Guidance
Support to your school or office for the NYC DOE’s Digital Accessibility audits
- NYC DOE School website accessibility reports are created quarterly by the Office of Digital Inclusion by scanning the sites with the WAVE tool from WebAIM. You can download the Chrome extension from WebAIM and run your own reports as you update your site.
- Schools can go even further and learn how to do their own “Self-Audit” found on the InfoHub.
- Offices and initiatives must do semi-annual self-audits as outlined on the InfoHub.
Before Choosing a Vendor
Be sure to discuss all aspects of a vendor’s support for accessibility with its reps/salespeople BEFORE engaging that vendor. You can familiarize yourself with steps you should take before engaging a vendor on the Website Guidelines page on the InfoHub. Request and review their completed General Services Association Section 508 approved Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or equivalent verifying product accessibility.
The DOE now has an enterprise license for Adobe Creative Suite which gives all staff access to Adobe Acrobat Pro. Now everyone can create accessible PDFs and fillable forms. Scroll to the bottom for troubleshooting guides on:
- Common Adobe Accessibility Errors and How to Fix Them
- How to Make an Accessible Excel File for a PDF
- How to make an Accessible Word File for a PDF
- How to make an Accessible PowerPoint File for a PDF
- How to Convert a PDF to a Word Document and Create a Fillable Form
- Adobe Forms Advanced Topics and Helpful Video Links
- How to Verify and Move to Office 365 Subscription Products on all your DOE Devices
Take the free training options offered by Digital Inclusion via our on-demand classes.
Other Types of Accessibility Support
- Physical Accessibility
- Language Access
- Assistive Technology
- Educational Vision Services
- Sign Language Interpreting Services
Still have questions?
Email us at DigitalAccessibility@schools.nyc.gov.