UDL tip of the week- Week 5 Creating accessible Word documents

This is week 5 in the UDL Tip of the Week Series from Instructional Technology Services in IITS. UDL Tip is a weekly series highlighting instructional technologies that align with the UDL guidelines, with a focus on easy-to-implement tools.

Week 5: UDL Tip of the week: Creating accessible Word documents


Here are some best practices to create more accessible Word documents.


  • Use Word’s built-in headings and styles
  • Add alternative text for images and tables.
  • Don’t use color alone to convey important information.
  • Use meaningful hyperlink text (NOT “click here.”)
  • Use sufficient contrast for text and background colors.

Check the recommendations by WebAIM or Microsoft to learn how to make your documents screen reader friendly and more accessible to a variety of readers.  


This UDL Tip of the week series promotes Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is a framework that is useful in designing curricula that meet the needs of all learners. The UDL framework takes a one-size-does-not-fit-all approach to the curricula and it includes flexibility & alternatives and reduces barriers for all students to become expert learners. You can read about UDL Principles and UDL Guidelines by CAST, an organization that works to expand learning opportunities to all individuals using UDL.


There are a lot of ways to implement UDL without any technology. We hope that other departments will join and share the UDL tips from the area of the expertise.

Week 1 Tip: Explain Everything (Interactive whiteboard tool)
Week 2 Tip: VoiceThread (Asynchronous online presentation tool)
Week 3 Tip: TodaysMeet (backchannel tool)
Week 4 Tip: YouTube (adding closed captions)

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