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Guidelines: Accessible
 Distance Education

Guidelines: Accessible Excel Documents

Categories: MUST Should May

The "Must Items" are critical to basic access for people with disabilities.

  1. General Description of Document Layout. A consistent convention must be used throughout the document and a note should be provided indicating the direction of the text flow, indicating whether it is top to bottom or left to right.

  2. For Data Tables Identify Row and Column Headers. Headings must be clearly separated from other text so that it is better understandable.

  3. Provide a text equivalent for all non text elements. This can be done through providing descriptive text titles for elements by adding text wherever possible. Examples are titles for charts and alternative text for pictures and diagrams.

  4. Ensure that hyperlinked text makes sense out of content. Hyperlinked phrases such as "click here" can be confusing for people who use screen readers. Make each hyperlink descriptive of the content to which it links.

  5. Ensure that documents that use color are understandable for people who cannot perceive color. Color and highlighting can be used for markup, but should not be the only way to provide information.

  6. If color is used, use a high contrast between background colors and text colors. Students with low vision may not be able to read text that does not have a high degree of contrast between text and background. Use light text on dark backgrounds and dark text on light backgrounds..

  7. Label each worksheet with a meaningful name. Each worksheet should be labeled aptly as opposed to Sheet1, Sheet2, etc which are the default sheet names.

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