The weakest link: Creating accessible Word documents

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Standards and tools for creating accessible Word documents, including the Round Table e-text guidelines and an organisational Style Guide approach.

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The weakest link: Creating accessible Word documents

  1. 1. The weakest link Creating accessible Word documents
  2. 2. Digital accessibility <ul><li>Perceivable </li></ul><ul><li>Operable </li></ul><ul><li>Understandable </li></ul><ul><li>Robust </li></ul><ul><li>Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Word accessibility? <ul><li>Internal communications </li></ul><ul><li>External communication – public, contractors, other stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Build for reuse </li></ul>
  4. 4. Round Table <ul><li>Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>http://e-bility.com/roundtable/ </li></ul><ul><li>Australia/ New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>Revised e-text guidelines due early 2009 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Round Table e-text <ul><li>Equivalence to print </li></ul><ul><li>Clear visual design </li></ul><ul><li>Follow existing guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>General principles and format-specific guidance </li></ul>
  6. 6. Equivalence to print <ul><li>Linear access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure content can be accessed with a keyboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t use text boxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t “hide” information in headers or footers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid columns </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Equivalence to print <ul><li>Structure and Semantics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use styles to represent text structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Headings 1 to 6 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important for navigation and understanding </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Equivalence to print <ul><li>Text equivalents for visual elements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convey the same information as included in the graphic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How would you read the image to someone over the phone? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include the text visually, not just as “alt” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Equivalence to print <ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include all meaningful elements of print document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check spelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where there are differences from the print, explain them. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Clear visual design <ul><li>simple and clear typeface </li></ul><ul><li>adequately large default text size </li></ul><ul><li>good spacing </li></ul><ul><li>adequate colour contrast </li></ul><ul><li>left-align </li></ul><ul><li>avoid italics, underline and block capitals </li></ul><ul><li>do not convey information solely through images or colours </li></ul><ul><li>allow user to change defaults </li></ul><ul><li>consistent appearance </li></ul>
  11. 11. Follow existing standards <ul><li>WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines): http://www.w3.org/WAI/ </li></ul><ul><li>Unicode: http://unicode.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Customise for an individual: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adaptive technology limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>software availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>varying levels of computer literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reading preferences </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Weakest link <ul><li>Everyone is an author </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone could have an “access need” </li></ul><ul><li>Need to build understanding and standardise good practice </li></ul>
  13. 13. RNZFB Style Guide <ul><li>Commonly used terms </li></ul><ul><li>Writing style </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for multiple formats </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational templates </li></ul><ul><li>(Branding) </li></ul>
  14. 14. RNZFB Style Guide <ul><li>Intranet resource </li></ul><ul><li>Launched to staff </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Developing training programme </li></ul><ul><li>Linking to policy and procedures </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Moira Clunie [email_address] Mike Lloyd [email_address] </li></ul>
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