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Subject: Creating Accessible Documents, part 1
From: "Miller, Brenda" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Technology accessibility tips and tricks and happenings at UM <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:07:32 +0000
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Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word, Part 1
The following information is from the University of Montana Accessibility<http://www.umt.edu/accessibility/getstarted/documents/default.php> Home Page. This is a fantastic resource with a lot of information about creating a more accessible university for everyone. I encourage everyone to check it out!

Overview of Some Aspects of an Accessible Document
The following are a few basic steps to ensure that your document is readable to people who use screen readers or text to speech programs.

Headings
Headings and subheadings should to be identified by using the built-in heading features of the authoring tool. Headings should form an outline of the page content.
   Heading Level 1(Title)
      Heading Level 2 (Main Topic)
         Heading Level 3 (Supporting Topic)
      Heading Level 2 (Main Topic)
         Etc.
This enables screen reader users to understand how the page is organized, and to quickly navigate to content of interest. Most screen readers have features that enable users to jump quickly between headings with a single key-stroke.

Lists
When lists are explicitly created as lists, it enables a screen reader to understand how the listed content is organized. When a screen reader detects a list, it announces it and may inform the reader of how many the list contains.

Alternate text for images
Users who are unable to see images depend on content authors to supplement their images with alternate text, which is often abbreviated as 'alt text'. The purpose of alt text is to communicate the content of an image to people who can't see it. The alt text should be succinct, just enough text to communicate the idea without burdening the user with unnecessary detail. When screen readers encounter an image with alt text, they typically announce the image then read the alt text.
Most authoring tools provide a means of adding alternate text to images, usually in a dialog that appears when an image is added, or later within an image properties dialog.
If images are purely decorative and contain no informative content, they do not require a description. However, they may still require specific markup so screen readers know to skip them.
Images that require a more lengthy description, such as charts and graphs, may require additional steps beyond adding alt text.

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