Microsoft Word is a used in many settings and is free for all University of Tulsa faculty, staff and students. Microsoft has done a great job of ensuring that Word is accessible and it is improving all the time.
The basic steps for making a Word Document accessible are outlined below:
Screen Reader users often use headings to skim a document. Good heading structure will help identify how the document is organized.
Use the built in heading styles available under the the Styles section in the Home tab as shown in the image below.
Headings should be used in order from “Heading 1” to “Heading 6” as needed and should form a meaningful document outline when read alone.
Heading Styles Video Tutorial
When you need to create a list, use the Word’s built-in tools for ordered (numbered) and unordered (bulleted) lists.
If the built-in tool isn’t used then the list isn’t recognized as a list by assistive devices (screen readers, etc)
Write meaningful link text
When creating a hyperlink avoid using the words “click here”. Instead write text that conveys meaningful information about the destination of the link.
Highlight the text then right click and select Hyperlink. Type the link in the URL field and select OK.
Accessible hyperlinks video tutorial
Add alternate text for images
Alternate text describes an image for users who are blind or who have low-vision. You can add alternate text by right clicking on an image and selecting Format Picture.
Within the Format Picture dialogue, enter information that describes the image within the Description field. In some versions of Word, the alt text will be automatically generated and will be noted as such in the description field.
If the image is decorative and doesn’t need to be read by screen readers you can check Mark as decorative