Making your Materials Accessible - Part 1

When posting materials online, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that they be accessible to all learners. This includes those that are visually and hearing impaired. The next series of Tech Tips will provide important information on how to make your materials accessible. We will start with Microsoft Office documents.

Microsoft Office 2013 – Checking documents for accessibility

Microsoft Office has a feature that will check your Word document, PowerPoint presentation, and Excel spreadsheet for problems meeting accessibility standards.

For people who cannot see shapes, pictures, tables and other objects in your documents, you can add a description to each using alternative, or Alt text. People who use screen readers will then hear this description of the pictures or object as they scan your document. By using Alt text in your documents, you can help reveal even complex content to people who cannot see the screen. The location to add Alt text has changed slightly in Office 2013. It used to be in the Format Object dialog box in Office 2010, but in Office 2013 it is now in the Format Object task pane. After inserting a photo, for example, the Format Picture Tools menu opens. On the right side under Format Picture, select the Layout and Properties icon and click ALT TEXT to display the text boxes used to describe the picture.

Click on File > then Info > then Check Accessibility

Go to Part 2