In my work with the CMTO I’ve been developing techniques to best assist learners in community radio who are using screen readers – ie. people who are blind or have a vision impairment. Screen readers convert written text into voice, so that a user who is blind can ‘read’ the text, from top to bottom (as long as that text is formatted to be accessible, more about that here). Using a screen reader to read back a pre-written script in real time can be a challenge for some screen reader users, but worth the effort to become confident on-air.
Those canny developers at Vision Australia last year made my life easier with their Document Accessibility Toolbar for MS Word that you can find here: https://www.visionaustralia.org/services/digital-access/document-accessibility-toolbar/
Now web developers can try out their Web Accessibility Toolbar for Internet Explorer here: https://www.visionaustralia.org/services/digital-access/resources/web-accessibility-toolbar-ie
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. Continue reading “Need accessible documents? Check out MSWord templates”
Sometimes screen readers used by vision-impaired people have trouble with digital documents. Continue reading “Vision Australia: making docs accessible with the DAT tool”