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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

Microsoft Word logo Accessibility can be built into every day staff work. Microsoft Word provides the ability to check the accessibility of documents by using the built-in Accessibility Checker. Similar to the spell checker feature, the Accessibility Checker provides various tips and tricks that will help you clarify content and present it for a more universal user experience.

Disability Access Services of California Department of Rehabilitation has consolidated a list of seven easy steps to follow when creating Word documents to ensure they are fully accessible to everyone.

Step One: Use Appropriate Font Style and Size - Not all fonts are created equal when it comes to accessibility. Generally, sans serif fonts work best as screens with low resolution make serif fonts more difficult to discern.

screenshot of the accessibility checker in Microsoft Word Step Two: Use Color Appropriately - People who have low-vision or color-blindness have difficulty reading documents when text color does not strongly contrast with the background color.

Step Three: Add Alternative Texts and Captions - Alternative text and captions are read by screen readers, allowing the content and function of these images, graphics or tables to be accessible to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities.

Step Four: Create Simple Tables by Specifying Column Header Rows - If more complex tables are used, it is recommended that a description or explanation of the table contents be included in the text of the document.

Step Five: Use Meaningful Hyperlink Text - Hyperlink text should provide a clear description of the link destination.

Step Six: Use Built in Formatting Styles - Built-in formatting styles provide a logical reading order that serves as a navigation guide for persons utilizing assistive technologies.

Step Seven: Check Accessibility - Perform a test of the document’s accessibility prior to distributing it either via email or by posting it to the internet. To access the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Word 2010: In the File tab, click on Info, Check for Issues, and then Check Accessibility.

Additional information on creating accessible Word documents

Excel Spreadsheets

Duty Statements

Organization Charts

Budget Change Proposal Sample Language