Yesterday Microsoft announced a 10-part video series focused on improving the accessibility of documents. Each video is two-five minutes long, highlighting specific tips for creating and editing documents that are accessible for all.
- Document naming
- Headings and styles
- Lists, and more
Dean Halstead, the Federal Accessibility Lead at Microsoft, narrates all the videos.
In the first video, he gives an overview of what you can expect in the series and how the tips will make you more productive and effective in creating accessible documents.
In subsequent episodes, Halstead explains the topic, shows good and bad examples, and walks through the steps in Microsoft Word to implement recommendations.
The techniques and concepts described in the videos are built-in to Microsoft Word, but many people aren’t aware of the features.
For example, you probably know that using proper headings allows you to create a table of contents with one click in Microsoft Word.
But did you know assistive technology uses properly formatted headings to navigate your document?
Or that when you add colors to tables in your document, it can become more difficult for some people to read the content?
Here’s the list of the 10 videos:
- Episode 1 – Overview
- Episode 2 – Document Naming
- Episode 3 – Heading and Styles
- Episode 4 – Lists:
- Episode 5 – Columns
- Episode 6 – Tables
- Episode 7 – Languages
- Episode 8 – Links
- Episode 9 – Alt Text
- Episode 10 – Joining the Accessibility Community
Are These Videos Worth My Time?
Yes, they’re short and to the point. I watched each video and found the recommendations helpful and easy to understand. And I like that he demonstrated how to implement the tip by showing the steps in Microsoft Word.
Personally, I’ve been confused about adding ALT text to decorative images in Word. I learned the best practice is to use a quote followed by a blank space followed by a quote.
Using the tips, you’ll be able to create accessible documents quickly that are easier to maintain and for everyone to use.
Though released by Microsoft in Government, the tips are helpful for anyone responsible for ensuring documents are accessible.
I’l be recommending the videos to my clients and colleagues.