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GSLC Dissertation Support Guide

Accessibility Requirements


The OhioLINK ETD center requires all manuscripts to meet their Minimum Digital Accessibility Standards (MDAS). We in the AU Library support these requirements, since creating more accessible publications is in alignment with the Antioch University mission to advance social justice. The new minimum standards are: 

  • PDF file includes full text
  • PDF accessibility permission flag is checked
  • Text language of the PDF is specified
  • Figures and images include alternative text
  • PDF includes a title

What this means for you:

Most of these new requirements will happen at the end of the dissertation process, since some of the properties of the PDF document itself allow assistive technology to read the documents.

The requirement that you should keep in mind early is that you should be adding alternate text (alt-text) to any images and figures in your document. If you're not sure what alt-text is or how to create it, we have resources below.


General accessibility (largely web-oriented):

Microsoft products tutorials for alt text: 

Adding alt text to images and tables:

Good explanation (but basic) about the differences between captions and alt text: 

Useful tips from a dissertating writer: 

Guide to creating alt text for art: 

Alt text specifically for visually impairments: 

STEM accessibility (focus on graphs/charts/diagrams): 

“It’s Complicated”: Negotiating Accessibility and (Mis)Representation in Image Descriptions of Race, Gender, and Disability