Microsoft Word Accessibility Checklist

This checklist serves as a guide to make sure documentation in Word is accessible.

To run a full check on your document to see what errors/issues in Word are flagged, go to File, Info, hover over Check for Issues and select Check Accessibility.

Go to File and select Properties to see if an Author and Title has been added.

Headings give a document structure by category or topic.

  • The Title of the document should be listed as Heading 1.
  • Any major subsection titles should be listed as Heading 2.
  • Further subsection titles can be Heading 3 and 4.
  • Section headings are properly tagged and ordered in the document.

Manually inspect the document to make sure there are no wordy or long sections. Check to see if there are any abbreviations, acronyms, or jargon that do not have explanations.

All images require alternative text that describes what is happening in the photo. Right click on the image and select Format Picture to see if there is descriptive alternative text in the Description field. Leave the Title field blank.

It is recommended to select colors with deep contrast between the foreground and background. Provide captions if using color to convey meaning.

Use the Colour Contrast Analyzer to ensure accessible contrast.

Manually inspect the document to confirm the reading order. Read information from left or right and from top to bottom.

Videos, captured lectures, recorded presentations for instructional media should have captions or transcripts.

  • Videos embedded in Microsoft Office are not accessible when the file is converted to Acrobat PDF. The video becomes an image.
  • Embedded videos are not accessible to screen reader users or users navigating with a keyboard or some other navigation device other than a mouse.
  • An alternative is to put the link of the video underneath the video itself.

You are done. Great job!