OhioLINK requires each PDF submitted to their website to be accessible.  The purpose of having a web-accessible document is to provide everyone the opportunity to view your work.  Web accessible documents allow those with little to no vision access to your document with the aid of a screen reader or other visual aid.  Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is also a proponent of accessibility.  Please see BGSU's Accessibility Policy for further information.     

Students will be responsible for the following:

  • File includes full text.  For example, you cannot have a picture of your title page because a screen reader cannot read it.  You need to use the template provided.
  • Color contrast (typed information must be black font on a white page).
  • Document is set to English except Spanish and German majors writing their thesis in that language.
  • PDF accessibility permission flag is checked.
  • Document Properties are filled in.
  • Bookmarks are created for all first level headings.
  • First level headings must be tagged as Heading 1 (H1).  *Using the template provided by the Graduate College and not changing the template will help resolve this issue.
  • Alternate (alt) text for figures, schemes, and any equations that are included as pictures.
    • No auto generated alt text.
    • Include the type of chart/graph (e.g., bar, bell, line, scatter plot, etc.).      
    • Include the purpose of the chart, figure, scheme.  This does not mean you repeat information already in the text of your document.  If it is a picture, there is an action in that picture.  If it is a chart, there is a purpose or reason you included that chart. 
  • Table summaries are completed. 
    • A summary is a brief description of how the data is organized in the table.
      • Include how many columns and how many rows including the header row or column (depending on how your table is set up) in the summary description. 
    • Table header row/column must be identified.
    • Please repeat the header row at the top of each page if your table is on multiple pages.
    • No merged or nested cells/rows are allowed in your tables because this causes the table regularity error.
      • This means in every table; each row must have the same number of columns and every column the same number of rows.  For example, having four (4) rows in column A and five (5) rows in column B does not work.  Column A and B both need to have five (5) rows in this example.

You can perform an accessibility check in Microsoft Word before converting your document to PDF.  You will need to use the templates provided by the Graduate College.  *These Microsoft Word documents have been set up with the proper accessible headings for the preliminary pages, and for page 1 of the body of your text. You will be required to complete the accessibility requirements in Arobat Pro.

LaTex users will need to use Acrobat Pro to complete the requirements.  We realize the .zip file template will make a PDF for you, but it cannot add alternate text to your figures, schemes and equations. 

Information on how to complete these requirements is found in our Microsoft Word Accessibility document and our Acrobat Pro DC document.  We offer several workshops per semester with this information.  We also recommend this Microsoft Support page about accessibility.   

Videos we recommend

Accessibility tool

Data tables and accessibility

Fixing PDF tables for 508 Compliance

How to find Merged Cells

Information to help you with LaTeX

LaTeX Math Equation Accessibility Converter

Creating Accessible LaTeX Documents

Updated: 09/20/2023 03:45PM