Strategies for using the Accessibility Checker in Word (double session)

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Virtual D on Friday, November 13, 2020.



  • Karen McCall, Senior Advisor, Accessible Document Design, Open Access Technologies

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: Office 365 for Windows
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


This demonstration and lab guides you through elements of your documents that the accessibility checker checks and what it doesn’t. Learn how to develop a checklist of automated and manual accessibility checkpoints.


The Accessibility Checker in word has gone through several iterations since being introduced in Word 2007. There are things it now checks for like automatically generated Alt text for images and things it doesn’t check for any more like headings including sequential Headings. This demonstration and lab session guides you through the process of creating a usable checklist of automated and manual checkpoints to ensure that your Word documents are optimized for accessibility. This type of strategy can provide a path for training others on integrating an automated tool and the elements of an accessible document that one needs to know as part of good document design.


  1. Learn what the Accessibility Checker in Word checks for
  2. Learn what the Accessibility Checker in Word used to check for and how to create a QA process
  3. Incorporate best practices in accessible document design into QA with support from Accessibility Checker

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Karen McCall

Karen McCall, M.Ed., Senior Advisor, Open Access Technologies, has been providing a leadership role in the field of accessible document design and training on how to make digital content accessible for people with disabilities for over 20 years. She has written several books on this topic based on her experience making other people’s documents accessible to conform to laws in Canada, the US and internationally. Karen’s ground-breaking book on creating and working with tagged PDF documents, first published in 2005 is now in its fourth edition. Her books on creating accessible Word and PowerPoint content were first published in 2005 and have evolved into both updated books and self-paced online courses. She is a vocal advocate for a global inclusive education standard and the rights of people with disabilities.