PD on the Go: Help Students Find Their Voice Using Built-in Accessibility Features in Microsoft Office 365

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As discussed in previous resources, Technology Tools to Build a More Accessible STEM Program and How to Create Accessible Word Documents, using accessible mainstream tools in your classrooms can help you personalize instruction and encourage student voice and choice in how they interact with the content. Many of these tools are already available to you in your classroom. For example, Microsoft Office 365 Education offers are a variety of built-in accessibility features. Check out the video below to see some of these tools in action!

What do you think?

  • How do you incorporate built-in accessibility features in your instruction?
  • How can accessibility features (e.g., captions, text-to-speech, etc.) benefit all students, not just those with disabilities?

Take this from theory to practice

The built-in accessibility features in Office 365 Education are great tools to help all learners get the support they need in an easy and convenient way. Check out these features in Office 365:

  • Keyboard shortcuts. Support users with dexterity, motor disabilities, or vision impairments. Shortcuts are also available for Office’s messaging app, Lync and in Excel
  • Alt text. Images on Office 365 pages contain alternative text which provides screen readers with a description of the picture if it adds additional context. 
  • Accessible browser. Internet Explorer users can access the accessibility features embedded in the browser itself, such as zoom, font customization, and screen reader compatibility.
  • Text-to-speech. Helps a variety of users, including those who are blind/low-vision, English learners, those with dyslexia, among many other types of students. Text-to-speech is available for OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

See you here next week.

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