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3 Ways to Give Microsoft Office 2010 an Accessibility Boost

Accessible Technology

This post was written by Ben Teoh, graduate project officer for online content at Connecting Up Australia. It originally appeared on the Connecting Up blog.

Connecting Up works to strengthen the nonprofit and community sector in Australia by providing a variety of information, products, resources and programs. Connecting Up is a member of the TechSoup Global Network, providing donated hardware and software to nonprofits in Australia and New Zealand.

Looking for ways to make it easier for people with disabilities to access your digital information? Here's how Microsoft Office 2010 can help.

When working with communities where people have disabilities or difficulties with certain types of media means making sure your digital content is as accessible as possible. For people using Microsoft Office, there are a number of ways in which you can add accessibility features to your content, allowing you to share it with more people.

1. STAMP: Sub-titling text add-in for Microsoft Powerpoint

Microsoft Powerpoint has been a staple for many presenters across the globe, however the choice of images, text and animations can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help, especially for audiences who have hearing disabilities.

The new” Subtitling text add-In for Microsoft Powerpoint” or STAMP offers presentation authors the ability to add closed captions to their presentations by either:

  • Creating captions within PowerPoint
  • Importing industry standard Timed Text Mark-up Language (TTML)

With the ability to add subtitles to media in PowerPoint doesn’t just have to be for the hearing impaired. In any situation where audio or language is a barrier, STAMP provides a solution.

Download STAMP for free on the Microsoft Accessibility Site

Other STAMP info:

2. DAISY add-in for Microsoft Office 2010

Digital information is being spread at a rapid rate but for those with print disabilities, it can be difficult to stay up to date with what’s being shared.

Microsoft has worked with the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) to create an add-in for Word which creates a DAISY document that can be used to create accessible multimedia files such as MP3 audio to create digital talking books.

Like STAMP, it’s a free tool and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Accessibility site.

Other DAISY for Word info:

3. Built-in accessibility tools in Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 comes with a range of accessibility tools built-in. One of the easiest tools to use is the Accessibility Checker.

The Accessibility Checker identifies areas in your content which may be challenging for people with disabilities to use or view. It also offers suggestions on how to fix these issues. The Accessibility Checker is available in Word 2010, Excel 2010 and PowerPoint 2010.

Microsoft also offers a range of ideas on how to improve the accessibility of its Microsoft Office programs on their Accessibility site.

Need Microsoft Office 2010 for your nonprofit?

Microsoft donates Microsoft Office 2010 licenses to Canadian nonprofits, charities and libraries through TechSoup Canada. To see if your organisation is eligible for Microsoft donations (plus donations and discounts from many other partners), you can register your organisation for free.