1 page essay

For the majority of us maneuvering through websites, reading attachments to emails, completing applications, and requesting online information seems to be a relatively easy task. But for the 3 out of every 100 individuals that either due to low vision or blindness, uses a screen reader, tasks like these can be daunting.

Imagine how frustrating it would be to attempt to apply for a class at a local college only to find out the online document you are using to apply has not been properly formatted for accessibility and your screen reader cannot read it. Even worse would be maneuvering to the “contact us” page on the website, only to have the same experience when trying to obtain an email address or a phone number for assistance. Now, imagine if you were trying to complete a job application, apply for some kind of assistance, or email your doctor instead?

Making accessible documents and web pages allows individuals who use a screen reader to maneuver through documents, utilize document properties for contact information and document styles to jump from one part of a document to another, to hear descriptions from picture and image tags to help understand the images on the pages, and to have equal access to information that most of us take for granted.

Public agencies are required to have accessible webpages, but the staff designing them or writing the content do not always understand what makes them accessible. Here is information that can help you ensure accessibility when creating documents.

An accessible document is a document created to be as easily readable by a sighted reader as a low vision or non-sighted reader. Making a document accessible is easiest when we are in the original stages of creating a document.

To learn all of the aspects of accessibility can take several courses over several hours, however, a few basic principles will make every document you create more accessible.


Learn about Microsoft Word Accessibility features. Prepare a summary page of you have learned and submit it here

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