Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

A Word of Caution

Automated, accessibility testing tools provide a good baseline check for accessibility of HTML web pages, PDFs and Microsoft Office 2010 documents, but the documents still need a human to check the pages and ask these questions:

  • Are headings used to give the document structure?
  • Are embedded media and any interactive widgets on the page, keyboard accessible?
  • Does the ALT text for images and graphics clearly represent the meaning the instructor wants to convey with the image?
  • Is the navigation easy to follow and understand?

How to Check Accessibility in Microsoft Word & PowerPoint 2010 and 2013The Accessibility Checker in M.S. Office can be found under the File Menu, on the Info menu item, Check for Issues, Check Accessibility

Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 for Windows have built-in accessibility checkers. It's a great way to do a automated check on your document, but it doesn't catch everything. It can't think, so it can't tell you if something should be formatted as a heading for example. So make sure to do a manual check in addition to using this tool.

Microsoft Office accessibility checker

Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 Accessibility Checker

Please Note: The accessibility checker only checks .docx files

  1. Go to the File tab.
  2. Select Info from the sidebar menu.
  3. Click on the Check for Issues button.
  4. Select Check Accessibility from the drop-down list.

The Accessibility Checker panel will open to the right of the document. The accessibility checker provides you with a list of errors, warnings and tips. When you click on an error or warning, instructions on how to fix it appear below in "Additional Information".

Accessibility Check for D2L / Web Pages

There are a few different web page accessibility checkers, but in order to check web pages that require a log-in, such as D2L does, you will need a browser based checker, such as the Web AIM WAVE accessibility add-on for the Firefox browser.

WAVE accessibility toolbar add-on for Firefox browser

  1. Download & Install the WAVE toolbar
  2. Open in a New Window iconOpen the D2L page in its own window by clicking on the Open in a new window icon.
  3. Right-click on the page in the new window, and select WAVE, then choose "Errors, Features, and Alerts" to see what accessibility errors you have on the page.
  4. Error icons in green, red, yellow and blue will appear on the page. If you hover over an error icon, more information on the error will appear.
  5. Return to the original D2L page, and open the D2L editor to repair the problems you found.

There's a lot more you can do with this toolbar too, but this is how you do an accessibility error check with it. For more information on the toolbar, see the Web AIM website.

You might also like to checkout Jim Thatcher's Favelets for Checking Web Accessibility.

Testing webpage with a screen reader

Fangs Screen Reader Emulator: (Firefox add-on) Fangs will show you in a text format how a screen reader will read the page.

Checking Adobe PDF Accessibility

The Accessibility panel in Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Professional

Adobe Acrobat X Professional has a built-in accessibility checker.

If you have Adobe Acrobat X Professional, run an accessibility check on your PDF. You can find the accessibility checker under the Tools panel on the right hand side.

  1. Click the Tools tab to open the Accessibility Tool panel on the right hand side.
        • If you don't see it there, click the View menu and select Tools > Accessibility.
  2. Select the Full Check button .
  3. The Accessibility Full Check window will open.
    • On the Report and Comment Options section:
      • Check on Create Accessibility Report and Include repair hints in Accessibility Reports.
    • On the Checking Options section:
      • Name: Adobe PDF
      • Select All items to be checked.
  4. Click on the Start Checking button.
  5. The Accessibility Report will display.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Even in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software you can do a Quick Check on the accessibility of your document. [pdf](PDF courtesy of JiscTechDis).