It’s a familiar scene that takes place every day in classrooms around the world. A teacher shares an assignment with her students, providing informational handouts, a reading list and recommended resources. The students then form study groups where they collaborate and advise each other on their individual projects, share drafts and edit one another’s work. From time to time, the teacher checks in with her students to assess their progress and offer guidance. Finally, the students complete their final papers and turn them in.
But, what if one or more of the students has a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to access information in the same way as the others?
Reading, writing and collaboration are fundamental components of education – always have been, always will be. Today, in a world where technology has transformed the way people learn, many of the documents, texts and other resources used by students and their teachers are digital. They are written, read, edited and shared on computers and mobile devices, which can be a problem for people with disabilities if they are unable to access the content.
Assistive technology can be a big help. But, accessibility really begins with the document itself and the software you use to create it. Microsoft Office offers tools to help you make your documents, spreadsheets and presentations easier to see, hear and use, and more accessible to people with disabilities.
Read the full blog post here to learn more about what you can do to help people who are blind “see”, enable screen readers to move seamlessly from one language to another, transfer the accessibility features within an Office document to a PDF and use the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office to fix accessibility issues before the content is final.
Education is often compared to a light that banishes the darkness of ignorance, serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity and illuminates the path to a richer life. Accessibility is the spark that can ignite that flame and make it shine equally bright for people with disabilities.
For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/enable.