Eight Steps to Make a Word Document Accessible
Step 1. Headings
Use headings to create the structure of the document. Title of the document and sections should be headings with decreasing size.
Step 2. Fonts
Use a San Serif font such as Calibri or Ariel. Make sure font size isn’t too small. Don’t use color, underline, or bold to convey information. Use words such as *Important*.
Don’t use “Times New Roman” - Serif Font.
Do use “Calibri or Arial” - San Serif Font.
Step 3. Alternative Text for Images
Alternative text describes the content of the images for screen readers. If images are purely decorative and don’t add information to the content, they don’t need an alternative text tag. Right click on an image and select “Edit Alt Text.”
Step 4. Links
Make sure the link describes what it is linking to.
Example of a good link text is: Access a Video on the Week 1 lecture.
A bad link is: Click here to see week 1 lecture video.
Step 5. Lists
Use lists to order content. Lists can be unordered using bullet points or ordered using numbers. Use the list feature to make sure a screen reader can read the information. The list tool is located in the paragraph tools on the home tab.
Step 6. Tables
Tables can be a quick way to show relationships between data. Make sure you add a table description and column and row headers in your document.
This is an example table description and table.
Step 7. Color
Text needs to have contrast for people who are color-blind or have low vision or other print disabilities. Don’t use color in the document to convey information.
This is dark blue and black and has good contrast.
This is light blue and does not have good contrast.
Step 8. Run the Accessibility Checker
The accessibility check can be found in two places. Click on the Review tab and then select the Check Accessibility button. If the button is not visible, go to File tab then Inspect Document, then Check Accessibility.