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Have you ever considered how you read a Word document? Research shows that readers scan the content and jump forward to the information that seems most important, glancing through the images, graphs, and tables to quickly make sense of the visuals.

But, what if the reader is dependent on an assistive device, such as a screen reader that reads text out loud, word by word? Would it be possible to navigate between the elements of the page; words, images, and tables to select the most important parts first?

The answer is yes, and the author of the Word document should take a few extra steps to make the document more accessible.

An accessible Word document takes advantage of pre-set headings and list styles, provides text descriptions for images and graphs, and uses simple data tables and meaningful links. Take some time to learn about the accessibility features of electronic documents and presentations.

Register for the OIT workshop “Removing Barriers: Creating More Accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDFFiles” for Windows and Microsoft Office 2013 users and for Mac and Microsoft Office 2011 users.