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, Open Access Technologies

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., Senior Advisor, Open Access Technologies, has been providing a leadership role in the field of accessible document design and training on how to make digital content accessible for people with disabilities for over 20 years. She has written several books on this topic based on her experience making other people’s documents accessible to conform to laws in Canada, the US and internationally. Karen’s ground-breaking book on creating and working with tagged PDF documents, first published in 2005 is now in its fourth edition. Her books on creating accessible Word and PowerPoint content were first published in 2005 and have evolved into both updated books and self-paced online courses. She is a vocal advocate for a global inclusive education standard and the rights of people with disabilities.