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Accessibility Checker for Word

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Using the Accessibility Checker in Word

Word has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to read and author documents. Word also offers the Accessibility Checker that locates elements that might cause problems for people with disabilities.

The Accessibility Checker can be accessed from the top bar in Word by going to Review > Accessibility Checker. You will then need to select Check Accessibility from the drop-down menu.

This will open the Accessibility Checker window on the right-hand side of your document.

This will give a list errors, warning and tips with how-to-fix recommendations for each. You can also tick a box that will keep the checker running as you work.

From this list, you can select an issue using the drop-down arrow and this will list the recommended fixes and will let you make the changes directly from the list.

Once you have fixed all of the issues flagged by the Accessibility Checker, your document is ready to share.

Learn more about Accessibility Checker

Tips for Creating an Accessible Document

These tips will help you create an accessible document for others to use. However, it is best to remember that no document will be fully accessible to everyone. It should be easy to provide the document in an alternative format upon request.

  • Add alternative text to visuals: This will help people who can’t see the screen understand what’s important in images and or visuals.If an image has text in, ensure that you repeat that text in your document. The alternative text should not be longer than a short sentence or two and should be able to convey the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner.
  • Colours: Ensure that colour is not the only means of conveying information. This will help people who are blind, colour blind or have low vision not miss out on the meaning of the information.
  • Contrast and text colour: If your document has a high level of contrast between text and background, more people can read the content effectively. It is best to avoid pale text on a white background, and plain backgrounds are advised.
  • Font size: It is best to type the document in font size 14 to assist readers with visual impairments.
  • Audio and Visual content: In addition to alternative text, include closed captioning for people who are deaf or have limited hearing.

Converting a Word Document to a PDF

It is important to save your Word document as a PDF before sending it on to others. This is to prevent others from being able to make changes to the document and will keep it in the correct formatting that you have set up.

This can be done by going to File > Save As Adobe PDF

If you are writing a Word document in OneDrive go to File > Save As > Download As PDF

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