PDA Event: Word Accessibility Basics

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Do you disseminate documents or help people design their own? Do you know a bit about how to make things look nice with Word, but would like to learn how to make them more useful? Ranging from headings to alternative text, Microsoft Word (or similar word processors) are robust software that offer a lot of accessibility options, but where to start? Join Mark McCarthy to learn some basic tips and tricks you can use to make your Word documents more accessible to people with disabilities! 

This lecture can’t teach you everything there is to Word (and Office’s) accessibility features, but it will get you in a place to create some fantastically usable documents!


  • learn about effective and efficient use of headings and styles;
  • learn more about the difference between styling, formatting, and typesetting;
  • learn how to effectively use images in your Word documents;
  • spark your interest into more advanced topics!

Mark McCarthy is a Senior Accessibility Engineer for the QA team at AITS with the University of Illinois System Office. He is primarily responsible for ensuring the accessibility of university applications, services, and documents. He also provides assistance and guidance where necessary or requested and is an advocate for broader inclusion. In addition to work with AITS, he also works with several units on the Urbana campus to assist in accessibility testing, remediation, and contributes to the general campus ethos and practice of accessibility. He is an Illinois-certified professional in Information Accessibility Design and Policy (IADP), a Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA) from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), is a member of the W3C WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices and Working Groups, working with colleagues nationally and internationally to promote accessibility and inclusion. His areas of interest include gaming accessibility, social justice inclusion and advocacy, and user-focused design.

Register for this event.

Sponsored by CARLI.