Baltimore, Maryland (March 23, 2020): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for accessibility, urged the governors of all states and territories to ensure that their executive orders regarding the coronavirus emergency are posted to the Internet in accessible formats that blind people using screen access technology can easily download and read.

“Government information should always be accessible, and blind people need access to the orders being issued by the governors of the states and territories so that we can run our businesses and plan our lives in accordance with the law and do our part to slow the spread of the virus,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Governors” offices must ensure that the documents they post are able to be read with screen access technology and Braille devices so that everyone stays informed and does what is needed during this emergency.”

Best practices for creating accessible documents

  • Use of digital text, not scanned images of text
  • Use of Microsoft Word (*.DOC and *.DOCX) and HTML (*.HTM) formats, which are nearly universally accessible with little or no cleanup or processing.
  • Use of Alt tags for graphic images, with concise text conveying the message a sighted reader would be expected to get from the graphic.
  • Use of Heading and table tags to make document navigation simpler and make the document more readable for screen reader users.

Guide to creating nonvisually accessible documents (Microsoft Word).