WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Microsoft Word question


From: Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC
Date: Apr 20, 2005 10:17AM


I always start out with "what is 508 compliant"? Rather than answer your question directly, which sections of the technical standard applies?

1. MS Word documents can be 508 Compliant. They can be more 'accessible' than the PDF. MS Word viewers exist and are available from Microsoft to address your users that don't own MS Word on the *Windows Operating System*. Other viewers work on other operating systems (e.g., OpenOffice) and can open MS Word format documents. The question is, how will you provide access or address users that don't have access to a reader, converter, or choose not to use MS Word?

Our corporate policy is to always have an alternate version for all documents available; "that alternate format may be an HTML, plain text, or rich text format (RTF) file. For internal sites only, the alternate format may also be one of the native formats used by the Postal Service for its standard suite of office products (i.e., Microsoft Word