Microsoft Word is a commonly used program to create text-based documents and is often used by students with disabilities because they are compatible with assistive technology.
Using headings (also known as headers) in a Word Document helps all users navigate the document easier and is a more efficient way of designing a document.
Please note: Changing font colors or size does not make a heading!
Headings levels are created by using the Headings feature in Word in the Styles section of the Home tab.
Headers should be used in order based on the content that is trying to be communicated. It is very important that header-use remain consistent across documents and headers should not be skipped!
And so on!
Having a Word Document structured with headings could also make your document easier to follow along.
Heading levels can make a document that looks like this:
Into one that is easier to read like this:
Adding links in a document is a great way to provide sources of additional information however, using an entire URL link is not an accessible method.
Instead, create a descriptive phrase of where your link directs to (this should not be “click here”) and link the descriptive phrase to the resources.
Alternative text, or “alt text” describes the content of images, graphs, and charts for assistive technology or for cases where the image does not load. The descriptions should be concise but meaningful and describe the image to someone who cannot see it.
Tables are very useful to organize data in a document and are commonly used in syllabi for schedules and grading methods. Not taking the proper steps to making a table accessible however, will make it very hard for non-visual users to understand the data.
Tables should only be used when absolutely necessary in organizing data and should avoid being used for decorative purposes, such as for laying content out on a page.
If you want to make sure that your Word Document is accessible you can use Word’s Accessibility Checker. Microsoft products have a built-in accessibility checker which can help the document creator test the overall accessibility of the document. The checker provides Inspection Results, feedback about the importance of each item, and tips on how to repair issues.
If you are having trouble creating an accessible document, please email email@example.com for help.