About the Training

One of the requirements of each Assistive Technology Act Program is to provide training in at least one of the areas of Information and Communication Technology. To start this endeavor, we will first be addressing electronic document accessibility.  Thanks to Minnesota’s State AT Act program, MN STAR, and the MN State Office of Accessibility, we are able to present you with seven modules on Microsoft Word Accessibility.  All artwork and presentations are the property of the state of MN.

These presentations are designed to be interactive, and self-paced. These training modules are absolutely free; however, please fill out the required survey below for our federal data submission.

Required Survey

Please fill out this survey for our federal data requirements.

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Document Accessibility Training Modules-Microsoft Word

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Module 1-Intro to Accessible Documents

Module 1 provides a brief introduction to why it matters to ensure your documents are accessible.

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Module 2-Working with Styles

Module 2 introduces styles, how to use them, and how they help make documents accessible.

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Module 3-Working with Colors

Module 3 explains the role of colors in accessible documents and how to ensure that you use colors properly and effectively.

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Module 4-Formatting with Columns, Hyperlinks, & Objects

Module 4 demonstrates how to ensure that your paragraph and text formatting, such as columns, hyperlinks, and pictures are accessible.

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Module 5-Working with Tables

Module 5 shows you how to design and create accessible and usable tables. It also defines when it is not appropriate to use tables.

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Module 6-Document Basics & Accessibility Checker

Module 6 reviews the last steps you should take every time you create a document to ensure that it is accessible, from setting properties to using the Accessibility Checker.

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Module 7-Converting Word Documents to PDF

Module 7 outlines the process of creating a PDF document from your Word document, and a quick review in how to ensure that the PDF is accessible.

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Other Microsoft Document Accessibility Resources

Several techniques in several different versions of Word that help you to create a more accessible Word document.

This has several techniques to help you to create more accessible PowerPoint slides.


Accessible PDF Resources

A great place to start to learn more about accessibility in PDF documents, straight from Adobe.

Gets more in-depth about how to repair an inaccessible PDF.

Get insight into using the Accessibility Checker in Acrobat Pro more effectively.

Last in the series, this focuses on creating more accessible interactive forms in Adobe Acrobat Pro.


Accessible Social Media

An easy-to-use reference that details how to create more accessible social media posts. Not every social media platform lets you create fully accessible content. This Toolkit gives a lot of tips about the most common platforms to help you to do everything that the platform supports. It also gives you information about how to make sure that people can contact you if they need to, which is critical when a platform does not support accessibility.


Accessible Multimedia

A primer on accessible multimedia that discusses video captions, audio transcripts and audio descriptions. This provides examples as well.

Part of WGBH in Boston, which was the first broadcast network to caption a television program. NCAM has resources and information about creating high quality, accurate captions. Look for their new, free captioning tool, CADET.

While focused on educational content, the best practices under Captioning Key are informative for anyone that oversees or creates captions. Use the navigation buttons at the top of the main content to read the standards.


Web Accessibility Resources

Testing websites for accessibility is a service that is in very high demand. These tools will help you to test web and non-web content for accessibility. As of January, 2018, all of the tools below are free to use. Disclaimer: no automatic tool catches everything. Manual testing is necessary, and information about manual techniques is in the list below as well.

A fantastic set of resources from the W3C. From a set of Easy Checks to get you started on to a report generator and template for reports, these are incredibly helpful.

Part of the Evaluation Resources above, this lets you select the set of accessibility standards that you want to check, languages, page types, and other criteria and then shows you tools that fit your needs.

From WebAIM, the WAVE uses algorithms to test websites for accessibility. A great tool for websites without a lot of interaction, and a good tool for web applications as well. The WAVE tests for structure, reports things like alternative text for images and points out places where JavaScript or ARIA might be on a page. It also tests color contrast.

A small but incredibly flexible tool that lets you select a foreground color and a background color. The tool then tells you the contrast ratio between the two and shows whether the ratio meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The tool will work on web pages as well as Office and PDF files. If you can open something on your computer then this tool will let you check it.