Paige Sears Loves (AT) Assistive Technology and Web Accessibility

Accessible Design:  This is Part 1 of a 2 part series.  The first part focuses on how Linda Coccovizzo and Paige Sears got involved with Assistive Technology.  The 2nd part focuses on how to design Accessible Word Documents. Paige and Linda have worked together in the ADA Compliance department since January 2012. Together they make quite the team.

 Figure 1

Figure 1: Linda Coccovizzo and Paige Sears Paige and Linda have worked together in the ADA Compliance department since January 2012. Together they make quite the team.

Figure 1: Paige and Linda have worked together in the ADA Compliance department since January 2012. Together they make quite the team. End of Figure 1

Linda Coccovizzo’s Biography

Linda describes her background in her own words.

By Linda Coccovizzo

Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis and my Early Childhood

I was born in Kansas City, MO, in 1973. My parents are also blind. My eye disease, Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, is inherited from my mother, however the odds of passing my particular gene of LCA onto offspring are fifty-fifty, as my one sibling, an older sister, is not at all visually impaired.

Sometime before I can remember, we moved to California. I attended mainstream public school up through the sixth grade, where I learned braille, and orientation and mobility skills. In the seventh grade, after moving to Oklahoma, I began attending the school for the blind in Muskogee, and then in Missouri in 1990.  I graduated from the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis in 1992.

Working as a Para Professional in Joplin

Living on my own since before graduating from high school, I made the decision to seek employment rather than to attend college, taking babysitting and telemarketing jobs, until I began working as a para professional in the Joplin public schools, in 1998. There, I worked with the students who were blind, transcribing books and material into braille, and then finally by using a computer and braille translating software to produce larger quantities on a braille embosser.

First Daughter is Born

I eventually moved to Springfield, MO, where I met my husband John. It was two months after my oldest daughter Sarah was born that we discovered she was blind. I was a stay-at-home mom with Sarah for a little over three years. My second daughter Terra was born exactly three years to her sister’s birthday. We discovered her blindness when she was three-months old.

Working for Columbia Lighthouse as a Rehab Engineer

At that time, I began working with a company called Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind out of Washington D.C., as a Rehab Engineer, training blind and visually impaired people on using technology purchased for them by Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind. A year later, I took on a contract to do braille transcription at home for the Joplin public schools. I did this for about three months, until they found someone who could do the job in house. After that, and up until Terra was six-years old, I remained a stay-at-home mom, making sure the girls had everything they needed from occupational and vision therapy, up through getting them settled into public school.

Moving to Kansas City and Working with Paige at the Local Community College

In June of 2011, our little family moved to Raytown, and by January, 2012 I was working for MCCKC, in the ADA compliance office. My job description here has included putting books into accessible formats for students with disabilities. Which also includes testing various applications so they can read the books on their computers and other devices, testing online programs used by MCC for accessibility with screen readers, such as Jaws and NVDA, and transcribing tests, math, and foreign language course materials for our students who use braille.

Today

My husband and I currently live in the Northland in Kansas City, where my now thirteen and sixteen-year-old girls attend their neighborhood public schools. My youngest daughter is involved with her local girl scout troop. Both girls receive lessons from Youth Music Academy and play piano, and sing.  Both are also involved in recreational programs designed for youth who are blind locally, as well as around the state.

Figure 2

Figure 2: A photo collage of the different places Paige Sears has worked for a more complete description refer to Figure 2's description in the main text.

Figure 2: Above Is a photo collage of all the difference places that Paige Sears has worked out or helped produce.  At 12 o’clock is the Centennial Life logo. At 2 o’clock, a picture of the Hunt Midwest caves which is the place where Stamp Fulfillment Services for the United States Postal Services is located at.  In the middle of the collage and at the center of the clock is a logo that reads Missouri Department of Social Services.  At 6 o’clock is a logo which reads “William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications – The University of Kansas. At 11 o’ clock is the front cover of The Royal Proclamation.  A Royal fan magazine that was created, designed by Paige Sears. End of Figure 2

Paige Sears’ Biography:  From Sports Writer to Disability Advocate

I briefly want to explain how my career goals shifted from wanting to be a sportswriter to working with individuals with disabilities.  When I was attending college from 1987 to 1991 in Lynchburg, Virginia at Liberty University.  I desperately wanted to become a sports announcer.  As I drew closer to graduation I found that my true love was not really sports broadcasting but it was sports-writing.  I was on both the Cross Country and Track teams at Liberty University (LU) and I wrote several sports articles on Cross Country and Track events.  In my Senior year I got a scholarship to be the Sports Editor of the yearbook.  It was also about this time that I first was published in a magazine.

Lynchburg, Virginia the town in which Liberty University resides was also the minor league home for the Lynchburg Red Sox. At the time I was a huge Red Sox fan (despite the fact that I basically grew up in Kansas City all my life).  So I contacted a small magazine publication called The Red Sox Journal by the Buffalo Head Society. Well, I told them I was a sports writer in college and I started writing articles for them that focused on the Lynchburg Red Sox and their minor league prospects.

The Royal Proclamation

Then I graduated College in 1991 with a BS Degree in Telecommunications.  I moved back to Kansas City. Then, with the help of the Buffalo Head Society, I decided to develop my own Kansas City Royal fan magazine called the Royal Proclamation.  Looking back on it, it really was quite amazing that I was able to do everything from layout design, writing, and taking the pictures all by myself.  In fact a few times when the Red Sox were in town playing the Kansas City Royals, The Buffalo Head Society and The Red Sox Journal were able to get me press passes.  That was a very unique experience getting to meet my childhood heroes in person.  I was able to interview future Hall of Fame Thirdbaseman for the Red Sox Wade Boggs and I got an interview of him published in a National Magazine called Trading Cards.

The Negative Phone Call

However, not all of the experiences publishing The Royal Proclamation were positive. One day I received a phone call from a Kansas City Royals beat writer who wrote for the Kansas City Star (honestly I cannot remember his name). This reporter gave me a call because he saw a copy of my magazine.  And basically he berated me for trying to put something together like that with such poor quality.  I will admit that the publication did have a lot of typos and errors in it.  This phone call put a real damper on my enthusiasm for the project.

Plus in 1994 I got married and was starting to think more about my future and it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to write about the Royals much longer.  In fact, I did stop publishing the magazine, but if you remember 1994 to 1995 that time period was about the time that the Internet started to become recognizable as a viable 4th media (in addition to print, radio and tv).  So with a few lessons and advice of my younger brother I learned basic web design and launched my own Royals website.

First Communications Job

I developed a Royal fan website. It was not that innovative and I believe I stopped publishing in around 1996, but it did help me land my first job as a Communications Coordinator for a now defunct Insurance Company called Centennial Life Insurance.  I was already working at Centennial Life Insurance as a Claims Adjustor but an opening became vacant and they decided to hire from within and they hired me because of my writing experience and the fact that wanted to have a bigger Internet and Intranet presence throughout the company.

Around 1997, Centennial Life Insurance was bought out by another Chicago based Insurance company and I eventually lost my job when the new Insurance Company moved in.

Re-evaluation of Life Path

At that time in my life a lot was going on, I had my first son in 1996 and then my second son in 1999.  During that time my career path was focused on internet Communications  I briefly had a job held another Communications job at a different insurance company, but after about a year I was let go from that job.  In 1999, I was hired by a consulting firm which later became Northrup Grumman which is well known now for having contracting jobs with the Federal Government.  I landed one of those jobs and one of my duties became to reorganize the redevelopment of the Stamp Fulfillment Services Website for the United States Postal Service.  If you are not aware of the Stamp Fulfillment Services is feel at ease neither did I before I started working there.  SFS (Stamp Fulfillment Services) is located underground in the Hunt Midwest caves next to Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City.  And SFS, is responsive for promoting and selling stamps to the stamp collection community.  Stamp collectors are known as philatelist.

A New Start Begins

Around this time one of my jobs as I was revamping their corporate intranet site was also to make sure that it was accessible for Jaws Screen Readers for the Blind.  All federal government entities were fast approaching a deadline to make their website accessible to all.  This was when I first became aware of Screen Readers for the Blind.

In addition to having this new job working with the Federal Government and having two newborn kids, my marriage was starting to unravel.  In the year 2000, I was separated and I was already looking to do something a little more life rewarding than working in communications.  So I started to learn as much as I could about Jaws and screenreaders and I was able to obtain state contracts working as a Rehab Engineer and Trainer for Missouri Rehab Services for the Blind.  These contracts happen to come at a very good time,  Because once 9/11 happened the Federal Government started to make cuts with their outside contractors and I was let go right around 9/11/2001.

This rough patch in my life became even rougher because now not only was I recently divorced but I had lost my job.  The bubble had burst on the previous booming Internet economy and I found myself in a struggle to locate a full time job.  Eventually, I decided on a part time job working as the Systems Administrator for the University Daily Kansan in Lawrence, Kansas.  It was not a full-time job, but at the time I was going back to school to get my Masters in Marketing Journalism and the University Daily Kansan paid my tuition.  Somehow I eeked by with that part time job and my contract with the State of Missouri working with blind individuals on Jaws and other accessible devices and equipment.

Becoming An Adaptive Technology Specialist

I graduated with my Masters in 2005 and by October 2005 I had reinvented myself from a Communications Coordinator to that of a Assistive Technology Specialist for a local Community College in Kansas City.  I am still presently employed by that Community College and love what I do.  Basically how I like to describe my job is that I am basically a computer guru for our students who have disabilities.  I train our college students on different adaptive equipment and devices.   Another component of my job and also Linda’s job is to convert the tradition hard bound textbook that the student buys into an alternative format into a usable and “readable” format for our students with disabilities whether that is Braille, Etext or Audio.

Linda and Paige Share A Passion for Accessible Design

By Paige Sears

Early on, I knew that I was going to work well with Linda.  Our personalities and sense of humor just gelled practically instantaneously.  Plus we kind of helped each other fit the missing pieces of the Accessibility Jigsaw puzzle.  For example I learn and rely on Linda a lot for her knowledge of Assistive Technology for the Blind and how to convert text into Braille and Linda often relies on my sight to help explain something to her from a sighted perspective.  A prime example is how we worked together to put together a presentation for our employer on Tuesday August 21st on Document Accessibility.  I relied on Linda detailing me exactly what was difficult to navigate through on sample Word documents and then I would try to redesign those document based upon her suggestions in an accessible way which will allow easy access and design for all not just blind end-users.  With that in mind, below is the basic material who presented to our fellow colleagues at the Community College.

How Do Blind Individuals Read Documents?

Instead of the Mouse they rely heavily on using Keystroke commands to get Screen Readers to read not just documents but everything on the computer screen, including the desktop, Windows operating system navigation and the Internet.

So exactly What is a Screen Reader

Screen readers are computer software that assist the blind or visually impaired in using computers, by either reading the text that shows up on the screen or by presenting them on a braille display. Essentially, it serves as a platform for the visually impaired to communicate with their computers. Screen readers can either be instructed to read the text on the screen out loud, or to automatically speak out the changes that occur on the screen.

Each screen reader comes with its own unique set of command structures. They are able to perform tasks such as read a word, a line or even a full text, inform the user about the location of the mouse’s cursor on the screen, and tell them what item is being focused on. Some screen readers can also perform advanced tasks such as reading per-designated parts of the screen (useful when surfing the Internet), and even reading the items on the cells of a spreadsheet document.

There are several things one must consider before investing in a particular screen reading software program. Firstly, one must be sure that the screen reader is compatible with their computer’s operating system. Also, since most visually impaired users find the use of braille displays very helpful, the screen reader has to be compatible with them. One must also check if the software is compatible with the applications that the user most frequently uses. Finally, it is wise to check the command structures and keystrokes of the software beforehand, so as to be sure that they are easy to remember and not in conflict with existing keystrokes.

Two of the Most Popular Screen Readers Are Jaws and NVDA:

Figure 3

Figure 3: The JAWS Logo which shows a blue shark speaking with the Word “Jaws” below the shark.

Figure 3: The JAWS Logo which shows a blue shark speaking with the Word “Jaws” below the shark.

  1. A Link Directing you to the Freedom Scientific Webpage featuring JAWS (Job Access With Speech)
  2. A Link direction you to the NVACCESS website. NVACCESS are the making of the free screenreader product NVDA

Figure 4

Figure 4: The N V access logo. Please note the full logo description is included in the main body of the text.

Figure 4: The NVACCESS logo.  It looks like a big “N”. The top right part of the “N” is orange and looks like a slanted “V’. The bottom left part of the logo is purple and looks like a slanted “V’. Underneath the logo is the word “nvaccess” Note: the “NV” is purple and the “access” is orange.

Linda and myself (Paige) are big proponents of testing Document design and web design by using a screen reader to navigate the document and test for accessibility.  That would be what I would recommend for you to do 1. Test for accessibility and 2. to proofread your work with a screen reader because it provides an auditory feedback.

So if you do decide to test you website with a screenreader.  They are some basic command that will help you use the screen reader program.

THE 5 JAWS AND NVDA COMMANDS TO KNOW

  1. INSERT DOWN ARROW (from the point of your cursor) – It reads the entire document
  2. Control gets it to shut up
  3. Page Up
  4. Page Down
  5. The Arrow keys
Author’s Note: Part 1 focused on the personal stories of Paige Sears and Linda Coccovizzo and a brief primer in screen readers. Part 2 focuses on the specifics of how to create an accessible Word document along with “how to” screenshots. We also discuss the reasons behind accessible Word design. For the purpose of this article all accessibility steps, processes and examples feature Microsoft Word 365.

So how do you make an Accessible PDF, EPUB or HTML (web page) file? The key is to make sure that the original source document (the Word Document) is accessible.

I would suggest that when developing content that eventually will be used as a PDF and a Web Page that it is better to start off making sure that the WORD DOC is created correctly. Rather than trying to fix up an existing PDF.  Keeping this in mind if it is at all possible, all documents should start out as Word documents.

In this overview of creating accessible Word documents we will cover 6 Tips to improve the overall accessibility of your documents.

The 6 Tips are:

  1. USE STYLES VERSUS USING THE FORMAT FIELDS
  2. USE HEADINGS AS DOCUMENT NAVIGATION
  3. ADD ALTERNATIVE TEXT TO IMAGES
  4. DESIGN ACCESSIBLE TABLES
  5. PROVIDE DESCRIPTIVE TEXT FOR HYPERLINKS
  6. CREATE ACCESSIBLE BULLETED AND NUMBERED LISTS

TIP # 1: USE STYLES VERSUS USING THE FORMAT FIELDS

The first tip is the most important tip and it really impacts the overall design of your Word document dramatically.

It is much better for accessibility purposes to design Word documents using Styles versus using the Format Fields options such as Bold, Italic, Font Style, Font Size etc. An example of the Format fields that you should not use is shown in the screenshot example below in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1: A Crossed-out Screenshot of the Font Ribbon section along with the words

Figure 1 Description: A Crossed-out Screenshot of the Font Ribbon section along with the words “Not This”.  The crossed-out sections include the following: Font, Font Size, Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough, Subscript and Superscript. End of Figure 1

Please note that the Figure descriptions in both the Alt Text and in the Main text are not perfect examples, because I am purposely trying to completely describe the screenshots due to the nature of this article.  In practice it is not always practical to provide such lengthy Figure descriptions, but for this particular article, I thought it was important to provide detailed explanations.

One can access the Style menu in Word by using the following Keyboard Commands CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S.  Once you do this you should see something similar to the Styles Screenshot shown below in Figure 2.  One can also go to Styles by selecting Home, then click on the box in the bottom right corner of the Styles Ribbon.  Notice in the example below there are several different styles to choose from ranging from TOC (Table of Contents), Block Text, Body Text and various others.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Description: The styles listed are: TOC 9, TOC Heading, Balloon Text, Block Text, Body Text, Body Text 2, Body Text 3, BodyText First Indent, Body Text First Indent 2, Body Text Indent, Body Text Indent 2, Body Text Indent 3, Closing, Comment Reference, Comment Subject, Comment Text, Date, Document Map.  The “Show Preview” and “Disabled Linked Styles” are unchecked check boxes.  There are also 3 graphic icons: New Style, Style Inspector and Manage Styles.  There is also a link to Style Pane Options it is labeled “Options… End of Figure 2”

One can create a new style, use the Style Inspector or Modify a Style by selecting the appropriate button at the bottom of the Style List.  In the figure below you can see at the bottom an arrow pointing to the New Style button, the Style Inspector and the Modify Style button.

Figure 3

Figure 3 Description: The screenshot of Figure 3 is basically the same as the screenshot labeled Figure 2 except at the bottom there is a red arrow pointing to the left to the following icons: New Style, Style Inspector and Manage Styles. End of Figure 3.

Instead of creating your own styles.  It might be a better idea to find someone that is well-versed in creating Accessible Word Documents and seeing if they can provide you with a handy template for creating accessible Word documents.  This way you personally do not have to create styles for every different scenario but can just modify styles.   I will provide you with an accessible template if you send me an email request to paigesears@yahoo.com

TIP # 2: USE HEADINGS AS DOCUMENT NAVIGATION

If one simply designs a large document, but does not use Headers for documentation it is very difficult for blind individuals to quickly skim through your document to find the paragraph or section that is of specific interest to them.

Think of the use of Headers as a way of creating a Table of Contents or Outline for your readers to navigate through your document.

If you take a look at the screenshot below in Figure 4, you will see a sample Navigation pane of a Word document that I created.

Figure 4

Figure 4:  Note the words Title, Heading 1, and Heading 2 are actually not listed in the navigation pane but one can determine that heading 1 and 2 are different because of indentation. The Navigation Pane Shows the following.  Navigation is the title of the pane below that is a search document field, Then 3 links Headings, Pages, and Results.  Then the following Navigation is shown. Title: Workmates and Friends: Linda Coccovizzo and Paige Sears Discuss Document Accessibility Heading 1: Linda Coccovizzo’s  Biography Heading Level 2  * Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis and my Early Childhood * Working as a Para Professional in Joplin * First Daughter is Born * Working for Columbia Lighthouse as a Rehab Engineer * Moving to Kansas City and Working with Paige at the Local Community College Today Heading Level 1 Paige Sears’ Biography Heading Level 2: * From Sports Writer to Disability Advocate * The Royal Proclamation * The Negative Phone Call * First Communications Job Re-evaluation of Life Path * A New Start Begins * Becoming An Adaptive Technology Specialist Heading Level 1: Linda and Paige Share A Passion for Accessible Design End of Figure 4 Description

Also, one can get to the Headings in the Styles Menu in two different ways.

Option 1: Click on the appropriate heading level in the Styles ribbon gallery.  For example, Heading 1, Heading 2 or Heading 3.

Option 2: Use the Keyboard Command of CTRL + ALT + 1 for Heading 1, CTRL + ALT + 2 for Heading 2, CTRL + ALT + 3 for Heading 3

Figure 5

Figure 5: Screenshot of the styles ribbon.  The style look and design are shown graphically and labeled as Heading 1, 2, 3 and 4 and there are 4 red arrows pointing to each separate heading. End of Figure 5.

TIP # 3: ADDING ALTERNATIVE TEXT TO IMAGES

Why is it important to provide Alternative Text to Images?  Basically if you do not add descriptive text to your images then the blind end user has no idea what the image means in relationship to the other text.  For the most part a massively in-depth description is not necessary.  For example, in Figure 5 that depicts the Jaws Logo the following description is suffice.

 DESCRIPTION BEGINS: The JAWS Logo which shows a blue shark speaking with the Word “Jaws” below the shark.  DESCRIPTION ENDS

Sometimes a more in-depth description is appropriate.  In some cases, the description needs to be wordy if the image for example is an actual body of text that contains 7 Steps or is a diagram showing how to do something in that case a lengthy description is appropriate.  Often times, though what I do is that if the picture is a process or contains a lot of text I will include a  description of what the picture entails in the body of my Word document.

Something to be aware of also with images is that often images are not just simple images but they are images that if clicked on will take you to another webpage.  In those cases, it is imperative to make sure that you indicate in your alt tag description where that hyperlink will take the computer user.

So here is the Step by Step process of creating Alt text for the image.  Select the image with your mouse, then point and click on that image.  To see what that should look like when you select the image take a peek at Figure 6 below.

Figure 6

Figure 6: The JAWS Logo which shows a blue shark speaking with the Word “Jaws” below the shark.  Figure 6 Ends

Then once the image is selected Right Click and Select Edit Alt Text as shown in Figure 7 below.

Figure 7

Figure 7: Screenshot of the menu that appears when you select a figure or image (in this case Figure 6) and right click.  Highlighted in the menu is “Edit Alt Text…” End of Figure 7

Then simply enter the description in the Enter Alt Text field box.  Example is shown below in Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8: Screen shot of the Alt Text pane: “Alt Text” is at the Top Left below that it reads “How would you describe this object to someone who is blind?”  (1-2 sentences recommended.)”.  Below that is an empty field box with a red arrow pointing in it.  Below that is a button labeled “Generate a description for me”, then a check box that is unchecked that reads “Mark as decorative” End of Figure 8

TIP # 4: DESIGN ACCESSIBLE TABLES

Tables should be used to communicate data; they should not be used for layout and design.  One of the popular trends in both document and web design is to create “invisible tables” with no visible columns or rows.  This technique may help improve the visual feel and layout for the sighted in often provides nothing but confusion and miscommunication to the blind end user. In my opinion tables should always be used to communicate data not layout. If you follow this one bit of advice regarding creating accessible tables it will improve the ability of creating accessible table dramatically.

Below is an example of a well-designed table

TABLE EXAMPLE BEGINS HERE

Paige’s Sons

Name Age College Attending
Brett 21 Missouri Science and Technology
Brady 18 Maple Woods Community College

End of Table

The best way for you to determine if your table is accessible is by tabbing through each cell.  For example, when you navigate to the cell that has “Maple Woods Community College” in it, you will hear the screen reader Jaws say “College Attending: Maple Woods Community College”.  Therefore, you know that the blind end user would be able to quickly understand what each cell content means and what cell column it corresponds to.

Something that is important for designing accessible tables is to make sure that your Header Rows are appropriately labeled.  One can do this by selecting the table with your mouse. Select the Table by clicking on it.  Once you have done this you will see 4 arrows pointing up, down, left and right just to the top left of your table.  Then right click and select Table Properties.  See screenshot example below.

Figure 9

Figure 9: Screenshot of the Paige’s Sons Table.  The table has been selected and right clicked on.  A menu appears.  At the very bottom of the menu “Table Properties” is shaded in dark gray.  End of Figure 9

Once you select Table Properties your screen should look very similar to the screenshot shown in Figure 10 below.  Make sure that you select the “Row” tab and uncheck the “Allow row to break across pages” and make sure “Repeat as header row at the top of each page” is selected.  When you do this it is easier for JAWS, NVDA and other screenreader users to help identify what table row header each table cell content relates too.

Figure 10

Figure 10: Screenshot of the Table Properties. There is a red arrow pointing upward to the Row tab and a red arrow pointing to the right of “Repeat as header row at the top of each page” check box. Above that is the “Allow row to break across pages” check box. The check box is unchecked.

TIP # 5 PROVIDE DESCRIPTIVE TEXT FOR HYPERLINKS

Hyperlink descriptions need to describe the nature of the hyperlink and what the Hyperlink content contains.  Some very bad examples of Hyperlink descriptions would be using “Here” or “Click Here” to describe the hyperlink.  Just imagine if a single web page has 30 or 40 “Click Here” links and each of those links takes the web navigator somewhere else.  It would be a very confusing situation for that user.

So how can you provide descriptive text for hyperlinks.

Step 1: Visit the website and copy the URL of the hyperlink. See the up arrow in Figure 11

Step 2: Highlight some text as shown below.  In the example below “This is the Descriptive text for the Web Aim Link…” is the highlighted text. Also it is right under the down arrow. Note: Do not highlight the actual hyperlink.

Figure 11

Figure 11: Screenshot of some content taking from a Word document.  There is a down red arrow pointing to some gray highlighted text.  That gray text reads: “This is the Descriptive text for the Web Aim Link”. It is not an actual hyperlink but just text. The second line of text reads, “This is the webaim hyperlink to the right https://webaim.org/techniques/word”.  There is a red up arrow pointing to the web address.

Step 3:  After you highlighted some text right click the highlighted text and select Link from the Menu that appears and then you should see a dialog box like Figure 12 below.

Step 4: Copy the URL web address that you posted into your Word document in Step 1

Step 5: Paste it into the Address field as shown in Figure 12

Step 6: Type in the display text that you want to appear as the hyperlink in the Text to Display field.  Select OK.

Figure 12

Figure 12:  Screenshot of the Insert Dialog box and some Word document content is shown right under the dialog box.  There are 3 red arrows labeled Step 4, 5, 6.  Step 4 points to the Word document content that is a  hyperlink.  The hyperlink address is https://webaim.org/techniques/word.  Step 5 The “Address” Form Field has the same web address mention in Step 4. Step 6 has a down arrow pointing to the text in the “Text to Display” field.  The text in the “Text to display” field is Web Aim: Creating Accessible Word Documents.

Step 7: Highlight and delete the URL web address that you began with in your Word document.

Now your hyperlink should look like Figure 13.

Figure 13

Figure 13 Screenshot of Word document content.  It reads “The End Result” and then below that is a hyperlink labeled “Web Aim: Creating Accessible Word Documents”. End of Figure 13.

TIP # 6 CREATE ACCESSIBLE BULLETED LISTS AND NUMBERED LISTS

Intuitively, sighted readers look at bulleted and numbered list and know right away that information is important and is separated out in a vital way for the sighted user.  It is important that when you use list that you must convey this information to the blind end user as well as the sighted end user.

Just a general guideline for creating accessible bulleted list is that it is ok to use the built in bulleted and numbered list generator in Microsoft Word, but it is not ok to insert an asterisk symbol and other characters to separate or highlight certain sections of the document.

Below is a list of sources and hyperlinks that I used in the development of this article. All of the links in this well-designed bulleted list are related to designing Accessible Word Documents.

Please note that the design of the website, Word documents and PDFs produced by Paige Sears are designed with the intent to provide a reference point of how an accessible document should look and feel.  The use of visible fonts, navigable headers, described images and overall accessible layout is intentional as a way to promote accessible document design for Word Docs, PDFs and Web pages.  If you are navigating one of the webpages and documents offered by Paige Sears please send her a link so she can correct the issue as soon as possible at paigesears@yahoo.com