If you want to create documents that can be read and understood by most people, you should be following sound accessibility strategies. When you look at a document, you may think you are getting accessibility right. You should make sure by using an accessibility checker. In this post, I am going to share how to use Microsoft Word’s accessibility checker as well as Google Docs’ accessibility checker, Grackle Docs.
Accessibility Checker for MS Word
To check accessibility in Word, click the “File” tab in the Ribbon to open the Backstage View. In the “Info” section, click the “Check for Issues” drop-down button in the “Inspect Document” area. Then choose the “Check Accessibility” command from the drop-down to launch the task pane.
Check Accessibility in Word: Instructions
- To check accessibility in Word, click the “File” tab in the Ribbon to open the Backstage View.
- In the “Info” section, click the “Check for Issues” drop-down button in the “Inspect Document” area.
- Then click the “Check Accessibility” command to launch the task pane.
- A list of “Errors” and/or “Warnings” may appear.
- If these appear, these indicate serious document accessibility issues for people with disabilities.
- Below the list of “Errors” and “Warnings,” you may also see a list of “Tips.” These are issues that may cause problems but aren’t as serious as the issues shown in the “Errors” or “Warnings” list.
- To see the specific items triggering an issue in the document, click any collapsible and expandable issue shown.
- Then click an item shown in the list to select it in the document, so you can correct it.
- For each item selected, you can see what to fix and how to fix it in the “Why Fix:” and “How To Fix” sections in the “Additional Information” list at the bottom of the task pane.
- As you make the corrections, the selected items are removed from that section of the task pane.
- Click the “X” in the upper-right corner of the “Accessibility Checker” task pane to close it, when finished.
Accessibility Checker for Google Docs
Google Docs does not have a built-in accessibility checker; however, you can use an add-on called Grackle Docs to scan your Google Docs for accessibility. To use Grackle Docs, follow the following steps:
- Install the Grackle Docs Add-on (opens in a new tab)
- Select the Add-ons tab, hover over Grackle Talks, then select Launch
- The accessibility checker will then automatically run
By running your document through an accessibility checker will help you ensure that your documents are useable for your entire class. If you have any questions about this, please let me know.