Accessibility with Microsoft 365: Tools for Inclusive Communication

Written by Fathiya Jama

Technology has the capability to bridge accessibility gaps and empower individuals with disabilities to participate fully in society. Microsoft 365 has some amazing accessibility tools like accessibility checker, color contrast, immersive reader, dictation, live captioning and subtitles, magnifier, and keyboard shortcuts. These tools allow users to ensure that the content they are creating is accessible to all and allows a more inclusive environment for all. I am going to are just a few of many features within Microsoft 365 that we should all be taking advantage of.

1. Accessibility Checker (Available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)

The Accessibility Checker is a powerful tool available in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook that ensures content is accessible to people with disabilities. It scans documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails, providing suggestions for enhancing accessibility. With clear results displayed for errors, warnings, and tips, users can easily identify and address accessibility issues.

2. Live Captions and Subtitles

Live Captions and Subtitles, found in Microsoft Teams and PowerPoint, improve accessibility by providing real-time transcriptions of spoken content during meetings, presentations, or video calls. This feature benefits individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who struggle with understanding spoken language. By enhancing comprehension, Live Captions and Subtitles ensure that all participants can actively engage in discussions and presentations.

3. Dictation

Microsoft 365 offers a convenient dictation feature across various applications, allowing users to dictate text instead of typing. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility impairments or conditions that make typing challenging. By simply speaking into a microphone, users can effortlessly input text into documents, emails, or chat messages. Microsoft’s dictation feature supports multiple languages and dialects, making it accessible to a diverse range of users.


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