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Creating Accessible Content in Microsoft Office 2010 Thomas Logan Chetan Bakhru. About SSB BART Group. Unmatched Experience Accessibility Focus Implementation-Oriented Solutions Solutions That Reduce Legal Risk Organizational Stability and Continuity

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about ssb bart group
About SSB BART Group
  • Unmatched Experience
  • Accessibility Focus
  • Implementation-Oriented Solutions
  • Solutions That Reduce Legal Risk
  • Organizational Stability and Continuity
  • Knowledge That Is Up-to-Date, All the Time
  • Published and Peer Review Auditing Methodology
  • Fourteen hundred organizations(1445)
  • Fifteen hundred individual accessibility best practices (1595)
  • Twenty-two core technology platforms (22)
  • Fifty-five thousand audits (55,930)
  • One hundred fifty million accessibility violations (152,351,725)
  • Three hundred sixty-six thousand human validated accessibility violations (366,096)
overview
Overview
  • Agenda

We will be looking at best practices necessary to create accessible content in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in the following core areas:

  • Templates
  • Page Layout
  • Visual Elements
  • Preparing the Native Document
  • Conversion to PDF

Note: The best practices in this course address the core accessibility areas in Section 508 and WCAG 2 Level A & AA

overview1
Overview

User Impact

Potential challenges for users with disabilities with content created in MS Office 2010

Improper text formatting and structure

  • Color, headings, lists, tables

Navigating and locating content

  • Links

Reading order of content

Access to and understanding of non–text elements

  • Use of color alone to convey meaning
  • Access to, and understanding of, non-text elements
templates
Templates

Master templates are used to define the layout and content of a document/presentation

Templates are often approved for use in multiple presentations and used by people who may not have accessibility training

The impact of creating an accessible template is significant

  • Colors and contrast
  • Header and Footer text
  • Size, font, and spacing of content
  • Consistent styles for headings, lists, etc.
  • Set correct reading order for slides
page layout
Page Layout

Requirements

Navigating and locating content can be a major challenge for users who are blind or have low vision, as well as users with cognitive disabilities. Content authors must consider:

Headings

  • Ensure headings are denoted through structure and not implicitly
  • Ensure headings and labels are descriptive and unique

Headers and Footers

  • Ensure headers and footers are properly formatted

Reading Order

  • Ensure content is rendered in the proper order

Lists

  • Ensure lists and sub-lists are structured properly
page layout1
Page Layout

Headings (Word)

Ensure headings are denoted through structure and not implicitly

  • Implicit headings means text that appears differently from the paragraph text by using different fonts, font sizes, bolding, italics, etc.

Headings created using font attributes or user–created styles will not be treated structurally as headings.

The navigation panel shows the heading structure of the document.

page layout2
Page Layout

Headings (Word)

To style headings:

Find the Home tab

Select the desired heading level from the Styles section of the ribbon

To see more heading levels expand the Styles section of the ribbon, choose Options, and from the Select Styles to Show dropdown list select All Styles

To Evaluate Headings:

Select the text that appears to be a heading

Open the Home menu and ensure the Styles toolbar on the ribbon is visible

Place the cursor in each heading, and verify that it is linked to the appropriate heading style in the Styles toolbar

page layout3
Page Layout

Headings and Labels (PowerPoint)

Ensure headings and labels are descriptive and unique

Section headings facilitate navigation and comprehension of the organization of presentations

To Evaluate Headings

Determine if headings and labels are provided

Are the headings and labels descriptive?

Are the headings and labels unique?

Are the headings provided through titles and sub–title placeholders?

  • Activate the Home ribbon > Slides > Slide layout
  • Verify that a slide layout is selected that matches the layout on the current slide
page layout4
Page Layout

Headers and Footers (Word)

Ensure headers and footers are properly formatted

Do not create headers and footers that can be accessed in the editable area of the document

When headers and footers are typed in as text on each page, users of AT often mistake them as part of the page content

To use headers and footers in Word:

Select the Insert tab

From the Headers and Footers section of the ribbon, select either “Header” or “Footer”

Activate "Edit Header" or "Edit Footer"

After creating the Header or Footer, press the “Esc” key to return to the main body of the document

page layout5

Ensure worksheet content is rendered in the proper order

Identify sections and worksheets to organize content

Separate unrelated data into different regions or worksheets to facilitate navigation.

Provide worksheet labels

Page Layout

Reading Order (Excel)

page layout6
Page Layout

Reading Order (PowerPoint)

Ensure that slide content is rendered in the proper order

Use the Selection Pane option under the Format ribbon to order the "Selection and Visibility" of text boxes, images and other elements to match the reading order of the slide with the tab order of the slide

Activate the Format tab

From Arrange panel, select Selection Pane

Use the up and down arrows to move items

Note: Current reading order can be determined by clicking on the gray area outside the slide content and then pressing tab. The tab order of objects indicates the reading order of slide content.

page layout7
Page Layout

Columns (Word)

Ensure multi-column content will be rendered in the proper order by screen readers

Use the built in Columns feature to create structural columns

  • Select the Page Layout tab
  • Choose "Columns" menu button under the "Page Setup" group
  • Select the desired number of columns from the grid
  • As you type, the current column will fill and spill into the next

To evaluate columns, do the following:

  • Activate the "Page Layout" tab on the ribbon
  • Choose "Columns" menu button under the "Page Setup" group
  • Verify desired number of columns from the page is displayed
page layout8

Lists (Word/PowerPoint)

Page Layout

Ensure lists and sub-lists are structured properly

Lists are used to group and organize related items

Lists can be ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) based on their content.

Utilizing the built-in list formatting allows users who are visually impaired to rapidly browse and access list content and have access to the same visual structure and relationship of list items

Use Unicode for all bullets

page layout9

Choose fonts and styles that are easy to read

Use “sans serif” fonts with sufficient spacing between letters

Arial

Verdana

Use fonts 12-18 points in size

Too large – may not be readable by some users

Too small – may not be readable by users of assistive technology

Page Layout

Fonts

visual elements
Visual Elements

Requirements

Interpreting visual content, meaning can present a challenge for users who are blind, have low vision or those with color deficiencies. Content authors should consider:

Color

Ensure color is not the sole means of communicating information

Ensure text and images of text provide sufficient color contrast

Links

Ensure link text is meaningful within context

Non-text Elements

Provide alternative text for images

Ensure complex images and charts provide long descriptions

visual elements1

Ensure color is not the sole means of communicating information

All information communicated via color should also be available through other methods of identification (visually and textually), such as text labels or symbols

Visual Elements

Color

visual elements2

Ensure text and images of text provide sufficient color contrast

Text foreground and background colors must have sufficient contrast

Do not place complex background images behind text

Visual Elements

Color

  • When complex background images or colors must be used, provide a halo of sufficient size around the text that provides sufficient contrast between the text foreground color
visual elements3
Visual Elements

Color

The WCAG 2.0 level AA and proposed Section 508 refresh compliance levels require a contrast ratio of:

3:1 or more for text of 18 points (14 points if bolded) or larger

4.5:1 or more for text of less than 18 points

Evaluate use of proper color contrast for each use of color:

Use an eye dropper tool to obtain the foreground and background colors

Enter the foreground and background colors into the color contrast checker

Verify that the contrast ratio meets the requirements for luminosity contrast ratio for the level of compliance required

visual elements4

Ensure link text is meaningful within context

Link text should accurately reflect the target and purpose of the link

Otherwise users will need to follow the link to determine its purpose, and returning to the previous location can be more difficult for users with disabilities

When link text is a URL, the URL itself must clearly identify the purpose

Visual Elements

Links

visual elements5

Provide alternative text for images

Alternative text must be present to communicate the meaning of images to users of assistive technology

When alternative text is not provided, screen reader users cannot access the information conveyed by the image

Visual Elements

Non-Text Elements

visual elements6
Visual Elements

Non-Text Elements

To assign alternative text to images:

Right click the image or press the applications key

Choose Size and Position

Activate the Alt Text tab

Enter alt text

  • If the image is meaningful, clearly convey in words the meaning, function, or purpose communicated by the image
  • If an image conveys no information (i.e., it is decorative or redundant to the text), enter a SPACE and then a carriage return (ENTER) as the Alt text
  • Proper alternative text should be terse yet informative
  • Alt text must describe the image when taken out of context

Activate the Close button

visual elements7
Visual Elements

Non-Text elements

Ensure complex images and charts provide long descriptions

Complex images include schematics, plans, diagrams or any other image that conveys a large amount of information

Users who cannot see the complex image will not be able to sufficiently determine its value/purpose

Diagrams - describe the name, role, and relationship of elements in the correct order

Charts - describe elements and provide a summary of the chart

Non-Compliant Example

“Bar chart”

Compliant Example

“Chart showing the downward trend of home prices in the Mid–Atlantic region during 2007. Y axis contains median home price, X axis contains values for Q1–$220,000, Q2–$217,000, Q3–$209,000, Q4–$203,400”

native document
Native Document

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

When a document is to be used in a different format, such as being converted to Adobe PDF, it is best to ensure that the native file (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is as accessible as possible before the conversion process. This will:

Save time when implementing accessibility in the other format

Still likely require some work to be done in the other format to achieve accessibility and compliance

Allow the content to be provided in multiple accessible formats

conversion to pdf
Conversion to PDF

Implementation Techniques – Accessibility Check

Perform an Accessibility Check

Microsoft Office 2010 contains an accessibility check feature that is a good starting point to check the accessibility of a presentation

  • Activate File > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility
  • Review the results in the accessibility checker pane
  • Address the listed issues
  • Rerun the check

Note – The checker looks for things such as missing alternative text, duplicate slide titles and potential reading order issues

conversion to pdf1
Conversion to PDF

Implementation Techniques – Conversion Options

Choose Conversion Options

There are several options for conversion (The results may differ from other Office application's and Acrobat’s Save As PDF option)

Adobe Acrobat Professional Plug–in "Save As Adobe PDF"

  • Requires Adobe Acrobat Professional to be installed
  • Provides tags, heading levels, alternative text

Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint Save as PDF

  • Provides tags, heading levels, alternative text, reading order

Print to PDF (Acrobat Distiller)

  • Does NOT provide tags, heading, alternative text, reading order
conversion to pdf2
Conversion to PDF

Implementation Techniques – Accessibility/Tagging

Enable tagged documents

Acrobat Ribbon > Preferences > Settings tab

Ensure accessibility and reflow of tagged document is checked (default)

Ensure Add Links is checked (default)

Ensure Create Bookmarks is checked (default)

Activate OK

thank you
Thank You

Contact Us

Thomas Logan

Senior Accessibility Analyst

thomas.logan@ssbbartgroup.com

Chetan Bakhru

Assistive Technology Tester

chetan.bakhru@ssbbartgroup.com

SSB Contact Information

info@ssbbartgroup.com

(800) 889-9659

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