This guide is for people who are producing Word, Excel, and Powerpoint 2010 (or later) documents for internal circulation, to upload to the Internet, or to load into Adobe presentations. It explains how to make them accessible to various assistive software (AS) IT packages.
AS packages enable people with disabilities to access information on-line or in electronic documents. The most common are for people with visual impairments, spanning the entire range up to people with no sight at all. Screen readers read out the content of documents, magnifiers enlarge a portion of the screen. Some are pure screen readers, others combine magnifiers with speech readers (‘speech option’).
Voice recognition packages are widely used by people with limited arm or hand mobility (including those with Repetitive Strain Injury – RSI) to move around electronic documents and enter text by speaking to the computer. They are also used by people without disabilities who need to dictate a lot of text, or to enter information into a system quickly.
Support packages for dyslexics tend to concentrate on enhanced literacy support, including predictive text, context-sensitive spellcheckers, homonym definitions, and the ability to change screen and font colours (which reduces the symptoms for many dyslexics).
In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 requires that both public and private organisations make reasonable adjustments to make products accessible to anyone, regardless of what their disability may be. Many other countries have similar regulations. This guide will tell you what to look out for, and how to set documents up correctly.
Document Accessibility in Microsoft 2010 - A comprehensive guide