Creating Accessible Digital Documents in MS Word (Office)

Creating Accessible Digital Documents in Microsoft Word will help participants to become more intentional about creating (and modifying) Word documents so that they are easily read by those with vision impairments (including the use of assistive technology).

Participants will learn to:

  • Articulate the difference between the document workflow process participants used in Word now and one that incorporates digital accessibility.
  • Integrate styles in documents that are specific for ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Integrate the features of Microsoft Word to create digitally accessible documents which pass the accessibility check.
  • Use the Word accessibility checker to address potential issues with document accessibility.
  • Listen to documents being read by Adobe Acrobat Reader’s “Read Aloud” function.

Course Information Sheet

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Course Information

 Time Requirement

This workshop requires 15 minutes of prep time prior to the class.  The instructional class time is 4.5 hours. 


  • View the 4-minute video from Ross Wilburn which provides context for *why* we want to make electronic documents accessible. 
  • View the 5-minute video of ISU Grad student, Lauren Berglund who is legally blind, as she shares about the importance of this work from her perspective. 
  • Upgrade to MS Office 2016 or Office 365 prior to this workshop. 
  • Workshop URL and prep work sent about one week prior to class. (Includes link to two videos, directions and assistance for installing the Accessibility Ribbon, and optional printing of class handout material.)

 Cost to Participants

There is no fee for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach faculty and staff to participate. Participants will cover their own travel and meals.



Your workshop facilitators are John Robnett and Robin Ertz.

Self-directed courses are available to both internal and external audiences.


Incorporates the following competencies: Communication and Interpersonal Relationships, Diversity and Inclusion, Development of Programs and Delivery of Programs and Educational Opportunities.