ADA Compliance

In accordance with MSU's efforts to make educational content available to everyone, we ask that you do your best to make your ETD accessible. Accessible means that it will be usable by screen readers and other assistive technologies and will widen the scope of who can access your ETD. We hope that we are able to introduce you to creating more accessible professional writing as you move forward in your career.

We will help you through the process of learning about accessibility and making your ETD accessible. MSU provides a quick 8 step overview on how to make documents accessible.


Accessibility with LaTex is tricky. LaTeX is commonly used in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering, which often contains equations. While PDF files created using LaTeX are not currently accessible due to these equations and other factors, using LaTeX can still be useful to those with or without sight. Those who require assistive technology and know how to use LaTeX may be able to read the LaTeX code, or the file could be converted into other readable formats.

If you are using the LaTeX Template linked to by The Graduate School, we ask that you do your best to address any accessibility issues that you can on your PDF.

For more information on LaTeX, equations, and accessibility, visit the following sources:


Microsoft Word is another document processor you can use. MSU provides Office 365 for Students if you need to download a newer version of it. We ask that you do your best to address all the the accessibility issues you can while formatting your ETD.

We have created Word templates with preformatted styles for headings to get you started. This will do a lot of the spacing and accessibility work for you.

For help on accessibility tasks, visit our Formatting FAQ.

Microsoft has an overiew of accessibility video series to help, too.

Checking your ETD for Accessibility

In Word: in the more recent versions of Word, click the "File" tab. Then click the "Check for Issues" button, and choose "Accessibility Check."

Please do your best to address any errors or warnings that come up.

In Adobe Acrobat: Choose "Tools" > "Accessibility." Then in the secondary toolbar, click "Full Check." Choose "Start Checking."

Please do your best to fix any failed items. You can right click each item and choose "Explain" for more information.

Formatting Questions

For specific questions on ADA formatting, view our Formatting FAQ, browse Microsoft’s accessibility training, or email the Formatting Advisor.