Creating Accessible Documents at IU

Creating Accessible Documents at IU

We all know that creating accessible documents is an important part of providing universal access to courses and other university materials. In a recent IT Training webinar, presenters Joe Humbert and Mary Stores from IU’s Assistive Technology & Accessibility Centers provide general guidelines, along with detailed demonstrations, to help you ensure your documents are accessible.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Creating Accessible Documents at IU.”

In this presentation, several resources were shared to enable participants to follow along and use as reference later. View and/or download the shared resources for this presentation.

In this webinar, we covered:

  • How to create or improve the accessibility of PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint documents
  • Techniques for writing alternate text descriptions and descriptive link text
  • Best practices for syllabi

Follow-up questions are welcome. You can add a comment to this post or reach out to IU’s Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center directly.

6 Facts about Charging

A title image that says "6 facts about charging" and has a picture of an iphone 4 on an off-brand charger.

Every day we hear another myth about charging your device. Should you let it die completely? Does turning off Bluetooth really save your battery? Or, my personal favorite, can I put my phone in the freezer to extend it’s life? When it comes to charging any device at all there are many different facts and rules in which you should follow. Today we will finally debunk the truth from the myth.

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Meeting online with Adobe Connect

Title image that says, "Meeting Online with Adobe Connect" and has a picture of a computer with the Adobe Connect Software open

Adobe Connect Meeting gives Indiana University students, faculty, and staff a means to meet, collaborative, and teach online! Have you ever tried to meet with a group at the library and it’s just too packed? Instead, try meeting on the web from your homes! Adobe Connect is a web conferencing software that allows for collaboration and provides a virtual environment for sharing presentations, images, and desktop applications with remote participants. It also offers audio and video conferencing, text chat, a digital whiteboard, and polling. All you need is a web browser with Flash plug-in and an Internet connection!


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Authorizing Cloud Storage

Title image that says "Authorizing Cloud Storage," and has the logos for box, dropbox, googledrive, and onedrive

Technology is meant to make your life easier. But if you’re not using it properly, it can become a real hassle. Are you fed up with logging in to your Box account just to download a file on your computer or upload your homework that you just completed? Don’t worry, so are we–and we’ve got the solution for you!

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Access vs. Excel

Title image that says "Excel vs. Access" and shows the excel and access logos

Excel and Access are both very powerful applications. They are each special in their own way, however; there comes a time when the things you are trying to do can be completed in either work space. So, what do you choose? Neither of these applications are necessarily better than one another, but their features might be better suited for one action versus another action.

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Switching from OneStart to One.IU: A Quickstart

Have you made the switch from OneStart to One.IU (

One.IU is the university’s new directory for online services. It will completely replace OneStart on October 21, 2015.

If you haven’t started using One.IU, why not do it today? Getting started is easy. Learn how in the following short video, which covers the essentials for getting around One.IU.

For more details on the retirement of OneStart, including a OneStart to One.IU comparison and information for publishers, visit

20 Apps for Teachers and Students

title image stating '20 apps for teachers and students"

Tablets are everywhere! And mobile technology is becoming a bigger and bigger thing. Most places on campus are already wired and ready to go, so students can begin using their tables alongside computers. I’ve scoured the internet for some of the top iPad applications that are great for teachers and students! Here are 20 amazing apps… Read the rest of “20 Apps for Teachers and Students” »

Using Mobile Apps for Collaboration

Using Mobile Apps for Collaboration - View the Recorded Presentation

Need help or motivation for adopting some of the key mobile apps for collaborating at IU? Our recent webinar, “Using Mobile Apps for Collaboration,” will give you a jump start.

*Please check the system requirements for each app to be sure your desired device and OS are compatible.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Using Mobile Apps for Collaboration.”

This webinar was a follow-up to a previous session about making the most of your mobile device, which focused on getting these apps installed and running on your device(s). Catch up on installation and configuration details in this blog post.

In “Using Mobile Apps for Collaboration,” we covered:

  • Why mobile matters
  • Working in the Box app
  • Joining Connect meetings in the app
  • Reviewing Canvas content and communicating in the app
  • Communicating using the Lync app
  • Managing participants in the Pexip app

How are you using your apps to collaborate?

What do you want to know more about with mobile apps?

Fun With Icons on

fun with icons graphic

We’re all trained by now to think in icons. Triangle means play. Speech bubble means chat. Plus sign means add. Icons are great way to sum up instructions or ideas in visual ways. This simplified visual representation allows us to process the information quickly and minimizes lengthy text explanations. logoThat’s why when I’m creating web graphics, I rely heavily on using icons. If time allows or if the idea is pretty complex or unique to the situation, I will create a custom icon. But I’ve found a great site for when time is short or you don’t want to reinvent the wheel:

On the homepage, you can search for the type of icon you need, or you can scroll down to preview a few different sets available.

What I especially love about the site are the straightforward license agreement details that are included. That way, I know if I can use it with no strings attached, if I need to link back to the designer’s site, or if I need to credit the designer somehow in the graphic itself.

Most of the time I’m looking for free/no strings attached icons, like this set:

screenshot of icon set

Click image to enlarge.

But depending on the project, I might want to use a specific kind of icon design and I can credit the designer. Like this one:

example icon set - sympletts

Click image to enlarge.

Yet, if I do want to customize an icon, and I often do, I can download the native .ai file and modify away (depending on licensing restrictions).

Select Adobe illustrator

I also really appreciate the ability to very easily download the icons in different sizes or file formats, without having to do those steps myself in Illustrator.
more options

For example, the following is an excerpt from an earlier blog post of mine, in which I downloaded the .ai file for the book icon, recolored it in Illustrator, and used it in the blog post with the image itself linked back to the appropriate site:

example from other blog post using book icon

Excerpt above from:

Be sure that when using icons on web pages, you’re using good alt tags and image descriptions to keep your site up to standards with accessibility.

Also, note that if you download a few icons from, they’ll prompt you to create an account with them. This is a simple login process and is free.

And remember, many social media icons are already available at different sizes in IU colors from in if you’re working on IU-related projects. View the logos downloads page and scroll down to the Icons files.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post on using the symbols in Illustrator for your iconography.

Organize Your Email

Title image of a manila folder that says "Organize your emails"

Many people send emails which means your inbox and can full very quickly. Are you suffering from a cluttered inbox? Have you ever gone to find an email and it seems to have just disappeared? Organizing your email can be as easy a setting up a couple of folders, tossing out the unnecessary emails, and rearranging the way things appear.

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