Google Apps Accessibility

Google Apps @ NC State have a lot of collaboration potential. However, Google has not yet built in the accessibility features needed to allow all users, especially people with certain functional impairments, to collaborate easily in this environment. While we want to promote the collaborative nature of these apps on campus but must urge caution in their use. These guidelines indicate how these apps can be used accessibly.

These guidelines:

  • refer only to using these apps with regard to accessibility, but other issues such as security and privacy must also be considered 
  • do not apply to any app outside of Google Apps @ NC State.
  • assume the resources in question are either a “Widely Distributed ICT Resource” or are being shared with someone with a known functional limitation that is directly impacted by the use of these resources. (Read the ICT Accessibility Regulation for further information.)

Google constantly updates Google Apps. To advise about updates needed for this page, please contact

Personal Use of Google Apps @ NC State

There is no limitation on personal use of Google Apps @ NC State; e.g., taking notes, preparing course materials. 

Sharing Content in Google Apps @ NC State

  • Accessibility limitations occur when Google Apps content is shared or when others are required to participate in an activity using Google Apps.
  • When appropriate, converting content to a Microsoft Office document format and using it offline usually produces the most accessible content, but it may be necessary to insert accessibility information.
  • Publishing from within a Google App directly to a static HTML format may not produce content that is more accessible.
  • PDF files created within Google Docs will have significant accessibility problems.

Usability Guidelines

Assistive Technology Users

If you use an assistive technology, here are recommendations for how to interact with your Google Apps @ NC State Gmail and Calendar.

Additionally, if you open a Google Doc and would like to download it to a more accessible Microsoft Office format, you can use our Download Google Doc to Microsoft Office Bookmarklet.

Additional Resources

For more information on the accessibility of Google Apps, please refer to the following information: