Redesigning the Word Online Ribbon with Community Feedback

Handouts Media

Presented at 4:00pm in Lakehouse on Thursday, November 15, 2018.



  • Hadi Rangin, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Jeremy Spurlin, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


The Ribbon is an integral part of Microsoft Office products. Thanks to feedback from the Athen Microsoft Collaboration Group, Microsoft recently redesigned the Ribbon for Word Online, simplifying the Ribbon’s user interactions to make it more accessible to all users. In this session we’ll discuss and demo the redesigned Ribbon we collaborated on.


Microsoft Office is one of the most used applications within higher education systems, and the Ribbon has been one of the most complicated and cumbersome components to use, particularly for keyboard-only users and screen reader users. After many years of discussion with Microsoft, the Office team has decided to redesign the Ribbon for Word Online with the goal of making it more functionally accessible to all users. Microsoft has redesigned the Ribbon-based on the feedback from the Athen Microsoft Office Collaboration Group. Please join us in this session, see the newly redesigned Ribbon in action, and share your feedback with the Ribbon engineering team.


  1. How the Athen Collaboration Group is working with Microsoft
  2. How keyboard navigation and interaction is structured
  3. See the new Word Online Ribbon in action

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Hadi Rangin

Hadi Rangin is an Information Technology Accessibility Specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this position he is tasked with improving access to information technologies for all users, including those with disabilities. To do this Hadi works with and advises software engineers, designers, administrators, and purchasers on accessible implementation techniques, quality assurance, and best practices. Some of the higher education vendors Hadi has collaborated with include Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Canvas, Elsevier, Ebsco, Ex-Libris, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, Google, Qualtrics, Ellucian, Workday, ServiceNow, Trumba, Innotas, Zoom, and many more.

Additionally, Hadi teaches the Universal Design Principles for Online Learning as well as the Certificate of Professional Development course in Information Accessibility Design and Policy for the University of Illinois.

Hadi's educational background is in Computer Science with a focus on Network Management and Human-Computer Interfaces. As someone who is blind, Hadi brings a wealth of personal and professional experiences to the many spheres he works within.

Jeremy Spurlin