Components of a document such as titles, sub-titles, and images may be inaccessible to screen reader users unless information about each component is embedded in the document.
Titles and sub-titles created by simply using the Word Format toolbar to center, bold, and increase the font size of the text will not be accessible to screen reader users.
The identification, description, or conveying of information communicated by an image will be inaccessible to screen reader users when alternative text is not included.
Detailed or "busy" page backgrounds or watermarks may make it difficult or impossible for users to discern overlying text, particularly users with low vision.
The grouping or conveying of information through the use of color alone may be difficult or impossible to access for individuals who are color-blind, screen reader users, individuals with low vision, and users of devices that do not support the displaying of color.
The use of non-standard tables (i.e., tables in which a cell spans more than one row or column) can make some information inaccessible. Unlike HTML, information about the relationship between table cells cannot be embedded in a Word document.
Headings should be used to convey structural information about a document, indicating main points and sub-points.
Use styles to create titles and section headings.
Use numbered and bulleted lists when appropriate.
Images and Color
Include alternative text for images, charts, and diagrams.
Do not use background images.
Use font color as an enhancement, not as the only means of conveying information.
Use multiple ways of distinguishing items. For example, place a green "x" by completed items and a red exclamation point by open items. If images are used, provide appropriate alternative text.
Test the use of color to convey information by printing a copy of the document in black and white to verify that all information is still conveyed.