[Athen] some questions on Word accessibility and the built-in accessibility checker

Joseph Sherman Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu
Wed May 20 11:51:53 PDT 2015

In addition to Karen’s excellent information, the other thing you might want to check is using JAWS, try the “list tables” command (JAWS+T). You want something useful to come up in that list so if a document has a lot of tables a JAWS user could go directly to a specific table of interest.

Joseph Sherman
Accessibility Specialist
CUNY Computing & Information Services
395 Hudson St 6FL, 6-236
646-664-2167| Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu<mailto:Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Karlen Communications
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 2:35 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] some questions on Word accessibility and the built-in accessibility checker


There is detailed information for both questions in the new tables and columns document at

We use the Alt attribute for tables to provide structural info about the table such as this table spans two pages, has x columns and y rows, has merged or split cells...that type of information.

For captions on tables, use the caption tool...select the table to see this option in the context menu/right mouse click or AppKey.

Captions for tables optimize accessibility when they come before the table. They let someone with a learning, cognitive or visual disability know what type of information they will find in the table.

Hope this helps.

The handouts have samples of accessible and inaccessible content.

Cheers, Karen

Sent from my iPad

On May 20, 2015, at 1:45 PM, Howard Kramer <hkramer at ahead.org<mailto:hkramer at ahead.org>> wrote:
Hello All:

I'm in the process of creating some videos and other resources on accessibility. One of the things I'm looking at is the Accessibility Checker in Word an PowerPoint. I notice that the checker flags for missing table alt text. In the demo document I'm using I have a caption (just normal text centered under the table) and introductory text for the table. I would think alt text would be redundant in this case but since this is going to be a training tool I want to ensure I'm correct on this.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Howard Kramer
Conference Coordinator
Accessing Higher Ground
cell: 720-351-8668

AHEAD Association of Higher Education and Disability

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