In recent weeks I’ve been exploring the wonderful (and hitherto mostly unknown to me) world of accessible word documents. In MS Word, using document styles, headings and alternative descriptions (alt-tags) on images makes your document more readable for those using screenreaders, as well as more consistently formatted for everyone else. In addition, formatting for accessibility in word before creating text in websites makes the job of accessible website design simpler. Accessibility checkers added to Word help you double-check it’s all ok.
I’ve written my entire doctoral thesis using the Vision Australia accessibility add-on for Word you can find at this link: https://www.visionaustralia.org/services/digital-access/document-accessibility-toolbar
But did you know there is an even EASIER way? MS Word templates! The templates demonstrate how you can have a design that is accessible and useful, as well as visually attractive.
The Word “Accessible Template Sampler” includes:
- Birthday invitations, cards and posters
- Labels and business cards (if you want to go that extra mile with your business cards, you can get Braille ones from any of the business listed on the Braille Guide website here: http://brailleaustralia.org/finding-braille/directory/#books )
You can find a whole range of fully accessible Word templates trialed by people with a disability for use-ability here: https://templates.office.com/en-US/Accessible-Template-Sampler-TM16402471
Word is also full of helpful advice on achieving accessible docs here: Link to accessibility advice on MSOffice site where they also have a Microsoft Disability Answer Desk if you have problems.
If you still have trouble, you might like to consider hiring Media Access Australia’s accessible document service here: https://www.mediaaccess.org.au/digitalaccessibilityservices/accessible-digital-communications/accessible-word-templates/
MSOffice also make accessible templates for Powerpoint! Find them at this link: https://templates.office.com/EN-US/accessible-template-sampler-TM16401472