Document Dance-off: Word Doc, PDF, HTML and EPUB 3

Bios & Handouts

Scheduled at 2:15pm in Cotton Creek I on Thursday January, 1.



  • Krista Greear, Access Text and Technology Manager, Univeristy of Washington

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Dance-off: An informal competition between two dancers who must progressively dance better than their opponent. Document Dance-off: An informal competition between 4 different files, who must perform accessibility better than their opponent as challenges progress.


Often in the world of alternate media, one file type is substituted for another. A student asks for a word doc is given a PDF because that's what the publisher distributed. An EPUB version was found before a PDF could be converted. And HTML is often ignored as a conversion format. IS THIS OKAY? This session will identify several "real-life" aspects of providing alternate media. Aspects like ease of conversion, usability by screen readers, text to speech, speech-to-text, enlargement software and text-to-speech users, process for turning into Braille, current/potential state of accessible math, likelihood of this file type used in the work environment, and so on. And what about operating system? This session is designed to help answer the question, "is substituting File Type X for File Type Y considered equally effective?". This could be a great intro for alt media specialists or for more seasoned professionals looking for recent information on the plethora of file types.


  1. Engage in conversation about what "equally effective" means regarding document accessibility.
  2. Understand the strengths and pitfalls of Word Doc, PDF, HTML and EPUB 3 across several "real-life" aspects.
  3. Have fun evaluating why we as an industry tend to gravitate towards certain file types.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, eBooks, Faculty Instruction/Accessible Course Design, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Krista Greear

Krista’s love for helping students, technology and data is a great fit for her position as the Access Text and Technology Manager, where she provides accessible textbooks, course packs, articles and other instructional materials. She has served in higher education disability services, providing students with alternate text for 8 years — 4 as a part-time employee at Central Washington University and 4 years full-time at the University of Washington. She is involved with the UW’s Web Council, Approaches on Accessibility interest group, Online Advising group and Husky Toastmasters. In her graduate work in Educational Technology, Krista aims to learn more about the tools, content and strategies faculty use to teach online and hybrid courses in order to train faculty how to create accessible-born courses, degrees and programs.