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    4 Ways Office 365 Encourages Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

    Learn how Office 365 is promoting accessibility across all of its web based and desktop applications

    Microsoft has been busy working on a slew of new accessibility updates for Office 365. These additions should provide organizations with a more inclusive work environment for users across all platforms. The Office accessibility improvements outlined in this blog are geared towards both document creation as well as review.

    How Office 365 enables more accessible content creation

    One of Microsoft’s goals with new accessibility updates for Office 365 was to encourage individuals to create content that is accessible by all. A few of the notable Office 365 updates that have recently been added include:

    1. Intelligent image analysis – PowerPoint already boasts this feature, which uses facial recognition, color detection, and much more to automatically provide alternative text descriptions that can help individuals with visual impairments better understand documents and presentations. Word will soon offer this new feature as well.

    2. Accessibility Checker – The Accessibility Checker is now available in Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word. This tool analyzes your files to offer easily-implemented recommendations to help people who may have varying levels of hearing, sight, or mobility impairments. Access the Accessibility Checker by clicking on Check Accessibility, located under the Review tab.

    3. Using MailTips in Outlook to alert coworkers – By enabling a MailTip in Outlook, users can signal coworkers of their need for more accessible content. It prompts users to run the Accessibility Checker prior to sending an email to individuals who have enabled this MailTip. This feature currently only works with Outlook on the web, but should be coming to Outlook on Windows desktops in the near future. Access this functionality by navigating to Accessibility preferences under the General tab in Outlook on the web.

    4. More easily-accessible hyperlinks – Thanks to a feature still in the works called Recent Items, users can easily create more meaningful display names for individuals accessing your content. When you click to add a link to your document, you’ll now be shown your recently-used files on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, and web sites that you have recently visited.

    Once you select a link to insert into your document, its webpage title or file name will be displayed instead of a long URL. This feature is expected to be available to Office 365 subscribers in the next few months and will be accessible in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook.

    Kudos to Microsoft for these accessibility improvements

    We’re excited to be partners with a company like Microsoft that doesn’t take the accessibility of its users for granted. If you’d like to learn more about the various accessibility options mentioned in this blog post, feel free to reach out to our team of Office 365 experts today at 877-788-1617 or through our contact form.

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