How to Make Accessible Word Documents
September 12, 2019
Event website

This hands-on workshop is designed to clearly explain how to create an accessible document using Microsoft Word. It will demonstrate converting documents to PDF format and examine the required structure for assistive technologies.

This workshop is a comprehensive review of how layout and design principles and practices influence the outcome in the construction of a document intended for accessibility.

Through exercises and group discussions, participants will review the background and theory of accessibility and how it affects document creation; the necessary changes to their current workflow and processes; and how to layout content in documents for those with vision, motor and cognitive impairments.

Microsoft Word will be used to build an accessible document, followed by using Adobe Acrobat Professional DC to inspect any conversion issues or errors.

Best training I have ever had in a session!    Ontario College of Teachers

I have taken a few training courses but this was by far the most in-depth and informative.   Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Learning outcomes

By completing this workshop, participants will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of accessible word document creation
  • Learn how to prepare all text content for accessibility
  • Will prepare graphical content for accessibility
  • Understand why navigation is important in a document
  • Review who is using accessible documents and their needs
  • Become familiar with content design best practices – the do’s and don’ts
  • Understand the importance of using accessible fonts
  • Learn about how to modify and create custom text styles
  • Understanding color blindness and the impact on graphic communications
  • How to make graphic, WordArt and charts accessible
  • Add custom bookmarks for navigation in their documents
  • Review how to add descriptive file properties to a file
  • Review the built-in accessibility checkers in both Microsoft and Acrobat
  • And much more!

Great practical, hands-on exercises. (City of Pembroke)

Take Away 

Participants will be given a handout with reference to the content covered including step-by-step procedures.

Workshop Requirements

  • Laptop and a Computer Mouse
  • Microsoft Word 2016 or 2013
  • Acrobat Professional Version DC or 11

Technical Notes

  • Please ensure that your Acrobat Professional (not Reader) has been installed correctly within your Microsoft Word application.
  • We suggest you do any installations a day or two before the workshop to ensure it is working properly.
  • A USB key will be used to transfer class files to laptops – ensure this can be done on your laptop.
  • A computer mouse is recommended since it will assist in the use of keyboard shortcuts
  • MAC users are welcome but must have the newest version of Microsoft Office and Acrobat Professional DC

NOTE: Laptops are optional, however, they will be needed to participate in the hands-on exercises that complement the lecture.

Great tips and tools to aid in the process of making docs accessible. Looking forward to Part 2!  (Niagara Parks Commission)

Perfect! Met the level of accessibility training I need in my job and I learned a few new tricks.  (Ontario Government)


  • High quality instruction by a Document Accessibility Specialist
  • Small class size (maximum 10 participants)
  • A Step-by-Step Reference Guide
  • Complimentary coffee and tea
  • A chance to network with other professionals
  • Registered participants will receive a digital Certificate of Completion


Accommodations available upon request. 

© 2018 Paracor Initiative