Making Accessible Content

If you create content that will appear on a website, we strongly recommend that you attend one of our accessibility workshops.

Get Started

Print up and keep the How to Make (Almost) Anything Accessible checklist by your desk.

Digital Accessibility Checklist: The Big Four

  1. Family content should be written at a grade 6-9 reading level. Too high? Try:
    • Shorter sentences
    • Simpler words
    • Bulleted lists
  2. Use headings to structure your content, but be sure to
    • Use the formatting ribbon (H1, H2, etc) in MS Word of Google Docs..
    • You can't use boldings, italics, or underlines as headings.
  3. Images must have alt text.
  4. Hyperlinks are linked with descriptive text. For example:
    • "Register for the March 5 Website Accessibility Workshop" NOT “Register Now!” or “Click here to Register”

Microsoft Office

Most Microsoft Office products have built-in checkers. Below are links to how to use them--and some caveats about how they work.


  • Google Docs
    • Tables in Google docs cannot be made accessible
  • Grackle Docs
    • It can be used to check for alt text, heading structure, and color contrast
    • It can assess your document. But you may not be able to remediate all the issues in the add-on.
  • Use other Google Chrome add-ons such as:
    • Wave for overall accessibility



  • All images must include an alt-text description
  • Don’t use pictures or images that features text, as they cannot be:
    • Read by screen readers
    • Translated online

Image Sizing

  • Make sure the image less than 1 mb. in size, or it will take forever to load.
  • Never make an image bigger than the original—it will become distorted.
    • Keep the ratio between horizontal and vertical the same as the original when you resize an image.


Family-Facing Videos

Family-facing sites like schools sites or our family website must have videos that are:

  • Captioned in all ten languages the DOE uses.
  • Hosted on an official site for the school or office—not one's personal or individual account.
    • In order to be able to respond to issues, more than one person at the school or office has to have the administrative rights to the account.
  • Central users must host videos on the DOE's Vimeo account.

All Other Videos

All other videos—including training videos that record an instructor’s computer screen—need to be:

  • Captioned in English.
  • Hosted on an official site for the school or office—not one's personal or individual account.

Inclusive Language

Put the person first

  • Say “Person with a disability” rather than “disabled person” 
  • Say “People with disabilities” rather than “the disabled” 
  • For specific disabilities, say “Person who uses a wheelchair” or “Person who has Cerebral Palsy” 
  • If you are not sure what words to use, JUST ASK

Avoid outdated terms

Never use:

  • Crazy
  • Crippled
  • Differently-abled
  • Handicapped
  • Physically challenged
  • Retarded 
  • Sufferer 
  • Suffers from
  • Special needs
  • Victim
  • Wheelchair bound

Source: Presentation on Disability Awareness from the NYC Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.

Trainings and Workshops

We offer many accessibility workshops. Starting in April 2020, they are all offered remotely and are completely free. Register/mark your calendar for one of our accessibility workshops today!

Submitting Content to the Website

Visit the Making Updates to the DOE Websites page on the Employee InfoHub.

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