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Making your Word documents more accessible IRD Accessible Resources

Making your Word documents more accessible

Posted in Accessible Resources

Ask Yourself

  • Do you know how to create and structure your Word documents to make them more accessible?
  • Do you know that if your Word documents are not created to be accessible, students with cognitive, sensory or physical disabilities will be unable to use them?
  • Is the information in your Word document clearly structured and ordered?
  • Do you provide an index or table of contents for long documents?


Providing accessible teaching materials can ensure the widest cohort of students are able to access the content. Knowing how to make your Word documents accessible will support students using different technologies and devices.

Creating well-structured, inclusive Word documents assists everybody. By utilising some of the easy to apply tools available in Word you will not only assist your audience in accessing and interpreting your content, you are effectively future proofing your document, making it easier to update in the future and transform your content into different formats that can be read and interpreted on a wide range of devices.


To make your Word documents more accessible use:

  • headings and heading hierarchy
  • list styles
  • alternative (alt) text
  • Arial (minimum 12 point)
  • white space
  • high contrast and colour selection
  • consistent font size.

Tips for creating a more inclusive Microsoft Word document contains some quick tips and further information.

La Trobe Resources and References

External Resources and References

Making information accessible for all by European Blind Union contains information on making electronic and print material accessible.
Microsoft Word by WebAIM.
Creating Accessible Microsoft Word 2007/2010 Documents by The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE).
How to make a Word document accessible by Portland Community College.
Inaccessible documents by The Higher Education Academy has four exercises on making electronic documents accessible.
Learn to create more accessible Word documents is a free online course offered by Microsoft Office

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