Lab: Document Accessibility Boot Camp: Leveraging Microsoft’s Built-in Tools to Create Accessible DOC, PDF, and EPUB Files (double session)

Handouts Media

Presented at 3:00pm in Virtual A on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.



  • Valerie Morrison, E-Text Manager, Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Exploring Microsoft's new built-in tools will help users in creating documents that are fully accessible. We'll investigate how to make accessible choices in your document's structure, navigation, spacing, and design. We'll also learn how to export directly from Word to create accessible PDF and EPUB files.


Microsoft has several new built-in tools meant to help novice and expert users alike in creating fully accessible documents. This presentation will provide an overview of these tools and the accessibility features embedded in Word's many tabs and options. We'll discuss whether to trust the new automated alternative text feature, and how to use the Accessibility Checker to your best advantage.

In addition to exploring these tools, we will examine the choices involved in deciding on a document's organization and learn how to create headings for easy navigation. We'll also discuss best practices for making accessible spacing and design choices. This presentation will conclude with a walk through of how to export directly from Microsoft Word to generate PDF and EPUB files that retain all of the accessible features you worked so hard to achieve.


  1. Microsoft has many built-in tools and new automated features to help users in creating accessible documents.
  2. Exploring how to make accessible design choices will benefit both novice and expert Microsoft users.
  3. Automated tools for exporting a Word document will help users generate accessible PDF and EPUB files.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, EPUB Track, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Valerie Morrison

Valerie Morrison manages the E-Text department at CIDI, the Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (formerly AMAC Accessibility). She's specialized in E-Text production since 2012, and focuses on making accessible textbooks for students with print-related disabilities. Before working at CIDI, Valerie earned her doctorate in English and served as an instructor of composition, contemporary poetry, American and British literature, and the postmodern novel. As an academic, her main interest was in the content of books, and not so much on how accessible they were or how they functioned on digital platforms. Now her focus is on providing educational materials to all students and finding new ways to transform textbooks into accessible digital formats.