WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: Microsoft Word question


From: Strange, Lainie
Date: Apr 20, 2005 12:40PM

Dan -

Actually, I just attended a local accessibility conference this week and a session I attended touched on the accessibility of Word tables. In a nutshell, they aren't ADA accessible. But a gentleman from Washington University: http://www.washington.edu/accessit/index.php
showed us this technique:

He said that in Word, if you set bookmarks where the Column Headings are (and name the bookmarks just like the Heading text) that at least the more recent versions of Jaws did a fairly good job at reading the heading text with the corresponding data within that column. He said this method didn't work well with complex nested tables however. Hope that makes sense.
From: Dan Miller [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 10:06 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Microsoft Word question

I am wondering about accessiblity issues regarding posting a document as an attachment in Microsoft Word format. I realize that for PDF attachments and the like, a link had to be provided in order to be able to download the free reader. How does one bypass this with Word docs? Is it 508 compliant just to post a Word doc as an attachment? Should one include also a plain text version of the document?

Also, are tables created in Word 508 compliant?

Many thanks