For documents created in Microsoft Word for Office 365, check the following accessibility guidelines for each document element to make sure that your document is accessible.
Use a text font that is easy to read
- Ensure your text is readable by using at least 10 pt. san serif fonts, such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. These font types will magnify well for those who have low vision.
- If there is an image with text in it, make sure to include that text in the alternative text for the image so it will be accessible to visually impaired students.
- Refrain from using floating text boxes, track changes, or commenting - these features are not accessible.
Use properly formatted headings to structure the page
- Select the text that you want to make into a heading.
- Go to the Home tab.
- In the Styles group, choose the appropriate heading level (see information below on using headings in the proper order) from the Styles gallery.
NOTE: The default style called a normal template in MS Word uses light blue heading colors that have insufficient color contrast. Make sure to change those headings to a darker color.
In addition to formatting headings as headings, the headings need to be used in the correct order. Headings chunk your content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a major way of navigating with a screen reader.
- Heading 1 functions like the title of a book; there is just one Heading 1 per page. Heading 2s function like chapter titles. Heading 3s function like sections of those chapters, and so on.
- Heading order is similar to an outline. It can be helpful to view the Navigation Pane while applying structure to a Word document. This allows you to see the headings in outline format to make sure you haven't skipped a heading level.
- Don't skip heading levels.
- See below for a visual display of a possible heading order:
Format lists as lists
- Click the Home tab.
- In the Paragraph group, select the Numbering or Bullets icon.
- Use Number lists if a sequential order is important to the list
- Use Bullet lists if all items are equal value.
Images and Graphics (including Graphs, Maps, & Shapes)
Provide alternative text descriptions (alt text) for images and graphics.
- Right click on the image and select Edit Alt Text.
- The Alt Text pane opens on the right side of the document.
- Enter your descriptive alternative text into the field provided.
Write meaningful link text that indicates link's destination
- Highlight text that describes the destination of the link.
- Right click and select Link.
- In the Address field, type the link URL.
- Click OK.
- If you think students will be printing the document and you want them to have the URL, put it in parentheses after the link but don't hyperlink it.
- Example: Lone Star College (www.lonestar.edu).
- Screen reading software can pull up all of the links in a page to aid the user in navigating the page more quickly. If a link pulled up by the screen reader is an indecipherable URL or an ambiguous phrase like "click here," the user will not know where that link goes.
Create data tables with column headers
- Put your cursor in the top row of your data table. The Table Tools tabs display.
- Under the Table Tools tab, click the Design tab.
- In the Table Style Options group, verify the Header Row box is checked.
- Next, click the Layout tab under the Table Tools tab.
- In the Data group, click Repeat Header Rows.
- Put your cursor in the top row of your data table. Two tabs displays, Table Design and Layout.
- Click the Design tab, and then verify the Header Row box is checked..
- Click the Layout tab.
- Click Repeat Headers Rows.
Ensure a proper reading order in tables
Don't use color alone to convey meaning
Use sufficient color contrast
How-to Install and Use the Colour Analyser tool
- Download and install Colour Contrast Analyser Tool
- Open the Colour Contrast Analyser application
- Click the Foreground eye dropper tool, hover over and click the foreground color (usually text) to select it.
- Click the Background eye dropper tool, hover over and click the background color.
- If you have a 12pt font you are testing for color contrast, you must get a (AA) Pass for regular text.
If you have font larger than that, you must get a (AA) Pass for large text.
Colour Analyzer Tips:
- LSC's standards are to reach a pass in the AA standards.
- Don't worry if you fail the AAA standards, though you might want to consider something with more contrast.
Eliminate or limit blinking/flashing content to 3 seconds
Forms & Buttons
Label form fields and buttons
Check the reading order of forms
Math and Science
Write math and science equations accessibly.
Run the Built in Accessibility Checker
- Go to the File tab.
- Select Info from the sidebar menu.
- Click the Check for Issues button.
- Select Check Accessibility from the drop-down list.
- Click Tools.
- Click Check Accessibility.
The Accessibility Checker panel will open to the right of the document. The accessibility checker provides you with a list of errors, warnings, and tips. When you click on an error or warning, instructions on how to fix it appear below the list of errors, in "Additional Information."