SensusAccess Guides

Below are a series of resources to help you get the most out of SensusAccess.

Having documents in an accessible file format ensures that we can all take in information in the way which suits us best. It might be necessary to convert a file in order to use it with assistive technology or to access the information in a different way eg. text to mp3.

It is important to understand that SensusAccess does not guarantee that the contents of a document are accessible. We have more information in our Guidelines for Accessible Documents page.

Golden Rules for using SensusAccess successfully:

  • Ensure that your source document contents are accessible - Microsoft Office 365 programmes such as Word have a built-in accessibility checker. You can also consult our checklist below.
  • Use good quality images – When converting pictures or scanned PDFs to text, for optimum accuracy use the clearest photo possible – no smudges, no shadows. Make sure the text in the photo is straight.
  • Be careful with PDFs – If you have a scan of a book in PDF form, or a PDF where the text cannot be recognised (not OCR-readable) you may get better results by converting to an image file eg. .tif, and then to a PDF.
  • Use an Equation Editor – SensusAccess can read mathematical symbols, but they must be written using an equation editor such as the editor in Word, or MathType.
  • Provide the correct metadata – When converting text files, check that the language of the document is set, that headers and titles are marked, and that the file properties have the correct author set. This is very important when converting to e-book file types.


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A PDF Guide by SensusAccess to ensuring the best end result when converting various file-types.

SensusAccess Best Practice Guide - tips to get the best conversion result

A handy checklist to help when reviewing your documents to ensure accessibility. 

We have more detailed guidelines here, and don't forget - Office 365 programmes have built-in accessibility checkers!

Accessible Document Checklist


In this guide, we look at the most common file types, where and why they might be used, and how to ensure they are accessible. It might be necessary to convert a file on SensusAccess in order for it to be used with Assistive Technologies, this guide also reviews examples of this.

Guide to File Types and Accessibility