The Status of Digital Document Accessibility – Are We Any Closer To Inclusive Education


Presented at 2:15pm in Cotton Creek II on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.



  • Karen McCall, Senior Advisor, Accessible Document Design, Karlen Communications

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


It has been four years since the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, among which is goal 4.5 Inclusive Education. This session provides an overview of the progress made toward the inclusion of people with disabilities in learning opportunities.


It has been four years since the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals which included goal 4.5 Inclusive Education. Since then there has been a concerted focus on inclusion in higher education and what that means. This session looks at some of the emerging models of inclusive education and how access to digital content is being moved forward through legislation and international treaties. There are still barriers to learning that are common among people with disabilities around the globe. However, within the past four to eight years, new models of document remediation and training have evolved. It is relatively easy to find information and video instruction on how to make digital content accessible. This session looks at what has been done and what has to be done to move us closer to the 2030 goal of inclusive education.


  1. Separating inclusion from accommodation - the implications of "inclusion"
  2. The effect of the Marakesh Treaty and other legislation on textbook accessibility
  3. Creating a student/academic institution collaboration toward inclusion

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Assistive Technology, Research, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Karen McCall

Karen McCall, M.Ed. has been working in the field of accessible document design since 1999. She began her career in website accessibility and auditing and moved to accessible Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents in 2004. Karen is:

A Canadian delegate of the ISO 14289 or PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) committee and has been for a number of years. A Canadian delegate to the ISO 32000 PDF committee. A Microsoft MVP for Word (Most Valued Professional) since 2009. A Microsoft Accessibility MVP since 2017 when this category of MVP was established.

Karen has written several books on the topic of accessible document design for Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents as well as smaller publications with specific techniques for working with Office applications if you are using adaptive technology and/or the keyboard.

Karen is the president of Karlen Communications.