ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION: How to Create Accessible Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles

Since 1858, The American Printing House for the Blind has operated in Louisville, Kentucky as the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating accessible learning experiences through educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are blind and visually impaired.

APH has created a web-based app for digital accessible crossword puzzles. These puzzles are fully accessible and can be navigated and solved using a screen reader. There are existing puzzles with academic content for 5th – 12th grade covering topics such as Science, Social Studies, Literature, Math, The Arts, Us History and World History. There are currently over a 100 existing puzzles available.

Need to create accessible crossword puzzles? Here are some resources that can help.

1) APH Accessible Crossword Puzzle App Review

2) Crossword Puzzle User Guide
This User Guide offers information on how to create new puzzles. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to take those crossword puzzle worksheets and make them accessible! These digital crossword puzzles also teach and provide opportunities to strengthen tech skills and digital grid math skills.

3) Sample Accessible Crossword Puzzles

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Correct “F” or “UF” Key Missing in File Specification Error

Four Adobe PDF Icons in a row

Using InDesign to export a PDF file?

Sometimes you will find the error “‘F’ or ‘UF’ key missing in file specification” when checking the accessibility of the PDF in PAC 3.

PAC 3 Error F or UF

Here’s how to fix it, using Adobe Acrobat Pro:

1) Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

2) Select More Tools > Print Production >Preflight.

3) Select the Acrobat Pro DC 2015 Profiles from the drop-down within the Preflight dialog box.

How to correct F or UF key using Preflight Tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro

4) Click the blue wrench icon.

5) Under the Document category, select the Insert missing F and UF entries for embedded files option.

6) Press the Fix button in the bottom right corner of the dialog.

7) Save the PDF file.

8) Test the PDF again in PAC 3.

PAC 3 F or UF Key Error Corrected

9) The original error should now “pass” as accessible.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Correct Typos in Tagged Text

Four Adobe PDF Icons in a row

What happens when your tagged text doesn’t match visual text?

Even though the text in your PDF looks correct, there may be typos or extra spacing behind the scenes that causes screen readers to announce the content incorrectly.

Tagged text must be free from line breaks and split words. The Adobe Accessibility Checker does not alert you to these issues.

Here’s how you can determine the back-end content issues and fix them, using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.


How to Figure Out What is Wrong with the Content

1) Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

2) Select File > Save as > Text (Plain).

3) Save the file to your computer.

4) Open the text file in Microsoft Word.

5) Use the grammar and spell check tools to find typos or spacing issues.


How to Fix These Problems in the PDF File

1) With the PDF open in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, select the Tags Tree

Tags Tree Icon in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

2) Locate the tag containing the typo or spacing issue.

3) Right click and select Copy Contents to Clipboard

Copy Contents to Clipboard Command in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

4) Right click the tag again and select Properties

Properties option in Adobe Acrobat Pro

5) Paste the copied content into the “Actual Text” field and make the corrections.

Actual Text field in Object Properties of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

6) Save the PDF file.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Set the Document Root

Human hands holding a young green plant

Every PDF document needs a “root.”

I get this question all the time from fellow PDF remediators:

“I am getting this error: ‘”Part” structure element used as root element.’ How can I fix it?”

You need to set the root of the PDF as “Document.”

HERE’S THE FIX

1) In the Acrobat Pro DC Tags pane, create a new Document tag and position it at the root under the Tags tree.

Accessibility Tag Pane Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

2) Select the rest of the tag structure and drag it inside (under) the root Document tag.

3) Save the file.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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PDFs: The Importance of Figure and Image ALT Tags

To be accessible to screen readers, figures and images in PDF documents should not have blank ALT text, except for decorative images which should be marked as artifacts.

Each image should have an ALT attribute describing the picture, which screen readers can read aloud.

EXAMPLE:

Still life with colorful tulips

ALT=”Still life photo of colorful tulips in a glass vase”

ADDITIONAL NOTE: When an image contains words that are important to understanding the content, the text alternative should include those words. This will allow the alternative to accurately represent the image.

Read more about PDF Techniques for WCAG: Text Alternatives.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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