Designing for All

Encouraging sites to design for the 15% of potential users is hard, but “Stop Designing For 85% of Users” provides excellent explanations and encouragement, though it tends focus on visual impairments.

As designers, we like to think we are solution-based. But whereas we wouldn’t hesitate to call out a museum made inaccessible by a lack of wheelchair ramps, many of us still remain somewhat oblivious to flaws in our user interfaces.

While important for all websites, this article is not an option for entities that work directly in the areas of disability. Unfortunately these same web sites and their associated business processes are weak on the application of Universal Design principles and too frequently deny users any meaningful interaction process—many times they just deliver paper-based forms.


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An example of the article’s explanation on the difference between light and dark colors with the impact on contrast


Is that email accessible?

Some tips to make your email content more accessible

  • Use built-in formatting features for spacing, headings, paragraphs, line breaks, styles and paragraph formatting
  • When attaching PDF’s or other visual content, include a text summary in the body of your email with details, dates, times, etc.
  • Add alt text to any images or graphics
  • Don’t rely on visual aids alone to convey meaning
  • Use high contrast colors & San serif fonts
  • Use meaningful hyperlinks instead of “click here” or “learn more”
  • Use your server’s online help tool for accessibility features and corrections

One-day workshop: Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents

The DD Network of Nevada is pleased to announce the “Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents” one-day workshop on Tuesday, June 27 2017 on the UNR Campus.

This comprehensive workshop is suitable for anyone seeking to understand accessibility and learn simple steps to make a Word document more accessible. By adopting the techniques developed in this workshop organizations can ensure electronic texts are more accessible to employees, customers and other stakeholders—with or without disabilities.  The workshop is instructor lead using PCs in a computer lab environment, a basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office is recommended.

Core Topics

  • Understand accessibility
  • Why document accessibility is important?
  • What makes a document accessible?

Specific hands on activities:

  • How to name a document
  • How to apply title and heading styles
  • How to create a properly spaced bulleted list
  • How to add alternative text to images
  • How to create a data table optimized for accessibility
  • How to create accessible hyperlinks
  • How to add a table of contents
  • How to find and correct insufficient color contrast
  • How to run an accessibility check

Learning outcomes

As a result of attending this training, participants will be able to::

  • Describe why accessibility is important
  • Identify what makes a document accessible
  • Create a new accessible Word document
  • Remediate an existing Word document

Attendees Will

  • Complete hands-on activities in a computer lab
  • Obtain a Certificate of Completion
  • Eligible to receive the Accessible Document Certificate of Proficiency upon successful completion of an optional test
  • Receive an Accessibility Checklist and template


The full day workshop is is divided into morning and an afternoon sessions each running for two hours and third minutes each (2.5 hrs) followed by a final 20 minute proficiency test (optional)

  • Location: University of Nevada, Reno 1664 N Virginia St The lab is located in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Room 414 (MIKC–414)
  • Cost: $0 For Nevada State Employees and Independent Living Partners
  • Lunch is included
  • Places: 10 participants only

Sign up now


Think twice before sending that Microsoft Word document

The world is full of text based information. Text comes in many forms; as brief text messages through to multi volume reports. Microsoft Word is the software many people in government and industry create the content,  but that doesn’t mean a Microsoft Word document is necessarily the best way to share it.

If your writing is a brief piece of text, maybe only a couple paragraphs long with some location or directions, then paste it in the body of the email and avoid sending it out as an attachment. Your readers will appreciate not needing to open up another piece of software, mobile readers also benefit and the security fears associated with opening up an attachment are mitigated.

Keep it simple.