Lab: Accessible HTML – Why It’s a Good Format for your Students and How to Create It! (double session)

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:00am in Virtual A on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.



  • Joseph Polizzotto, Accessibility Technologist, Wake Technical Community College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


An accessible HTML file can provide a greater amount of accessibility for students with disabilities. We will provide the rationale for providing accessible HTML to your students as well as share UC Berkeley's workflow for creating accessible HTML.


What are the advantages of accessible HTML files compared to other popular alternative formats? What are some tools that I can use to create accessible HTML for my students?

In this presentation and workshop, we will provide an overview of the specific HTML features that make HTML such a great format for students with disabilities. For instance, we will discuss how HTML can provide:

- better navigation - better access to Math content - better distinction between body text and other text areas (secondary text, footnote text, and extended descriptions) - and more...

After establishing the rationale for providing accessible HTML, we will share UC Berkeley's method for creating it. In the process, you will learn a faster method for creating files that include these essential HTML features:

- complex tables with irregular headers - language switching -

element for extended descriptions -

element for secondary text and footnote text - blockquotes - and more...


  1. Accessible HTML files have many advantages compared to other popular alternative formats
  2. Using a script that converts DOCX to HTML can eliminate common pain points in an accessible HTML workflow
  3. Applying a stylesheet to HTML files makes it easier to perform quality control in an HTML workflow

Disability Areas

Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Joseph Polizzotto

Joseph is the Alternate Media Supervisor at UC Berkeley. He previously was Assistive Technology Specialist Instructor at the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, where he trained college faculty and staff on alternate media workflows and assistive technology.

Joseph received a B.A. degree in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from San José State University. He has over 15 years of teaching experience in ESL and basic skills. His research interests include accessible EPUB 3 and mobile reading systems.