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Campus Conversations About Accessible Design

This week we are pleased to highlight a conversation unfolding through the Chronicle of Higher Education and writers at ProfHacker.

ProfHacker features three articles each week concerning productivity tactics for faculty, staff, and administrators in higher education. Their collaboration with the Chronicle of Higher Education provides excellent exposure for their insight and creativity. Naturally, a common theme in the posts involves exploiting the power of technology.

What is exciting about one of the posts this week is the conversation about how to use Microsoft Office to create accessible files.

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How to Create Accessible Microsoft Office Files

One of the great things we learned from reading this article is that Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows includes a new feature called the Accessibility Checker. This tool will scan your Office documents for inaccessible items. (However, this feature was not released in Office 2011 for Mac.) The article gives step by step guidance on how to access and use this tool.

Perhaps most interesting are the links to other resources and the dialogue in the comments. As we reflect on this article, it strikes us that it is an excellent model to replicate in campus newsletters, teaching and learning center web sites, etc. Engaging our colleagues in conversations about accessible design seems to be an excellent strategy for advancing a universal design in education agenda on campuses.