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Creating Accessible Content

All State Departments are required to provide equal access to information and services that are available by technology. Providing access to information and services should not be initiated by an individual’s specific request for accommodation. That means all State employees that create digital, electronic, or online content are required to follow best practices and accessibility standards to ensure that their content can be viewed by all, regardless of their abilities. Below are some resources and guidelines to help create accessible content.


Understanding | Breaking the Ice | Assistive Technology | Creating Accessible Content

Word Documents

Excel Spreadsheets

Microsoft Excel logo Like Microsoft Word, Excel also contains an Accessibility Checker feature. Disability Access Services of California Department of Rehabilitation has put together this list of seven easy steps to follow when creating Excel documents to help provide the most consistent experience for the audience.

Step One: Add Alternative Text to Images and Objects - Alternative text is read by screen readers, allowing the content and function of these images, charts or graphics to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities.

Step Two: Specify Column Header Information in Tables - Having clear column headings can help provide context and assist navigation of the table’s contents.

screenshot of Excel worksheet tabs being named uniquely Step Three: Create Meaningful Hyperlink Text - Hyperlink text should provide a clear description of the link destination, rather than providing either the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or simply words such as, “Click Here”.

Step Four: Other Construction Considerations - Merging or Splitting cells can make navigating Excel tables with Assistive Technologies very difficult, if not impossible. Always keep tables straightforward and simple and avoid this practice.

Step Five: Give All Sheet Tabs Unique Names - Unique sheet names make it easier to navigate through a workbook. Any blank sheets in a workbook should be deleted.

Step Six: Include Alternate Formats for Multimedia - If any audio or video components are included in the worksheet, ensure that the content is available in alternative formats for users with disabilities, such as closed captions for videos or transcripts for audio files.

Step Seven: Check Accessibility - Microsoft Excel 2010 also has a built-in accessibility feature. However, do not rely on this feature alone to test for accessibility. To access the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Excel 2010: In the File tab, click on Info, Check for Issues, and then Check Accessibility.

Additional information on creating accessible Excel Spreadsheets

Duty Statements

Organization Charts

Budget Change Proposal Sample Language