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Accessibility is about making our products accessible and inclusive to everyone, including the 1 billion+ people with disabilities around the world. It is a core Excel and Microsoft priority, and an area where we continuously strive to improve. For more information about Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility, visit microsoft.com/accessibility.
Making Excel more accessible is a journey, and we will always have room for improvement as we strive to make spreadsheets work for everyone. We have three overarching objectives to guide us:
- Work seamlessly with assistive technology. Our partners around the globe and within Microsoft create amazing technology to support people with disabilities. A few examples of assistive technology include screen readers, dictation software, magnifiers, and physical devices. Our priority is to collaborate with these partners so that everyone can use Excel in the way that works best for them, with tools that are already familiar.
- Build inclusive and delightful experiences inspired by people with disabilities. Beyond “just working,” Excel should be efficient and delightful to use. We are always looking for opportunities to simplify your workflow, summarize your content, or suggest information. By learning from and being inspired by the experiences of people with disabilities, we can make Excel better for all.
- Support authors to create accessible content. Making Excel as an application accessible is only half the battle; the other half is making sure workbooks created in Excel are accessible. For that, we rely heavily on you, the author…but that doesn’t mean we can’t help! We look for opportunities to automatically create accessible content on your behalf, support you while you create accessible content, let you know when something is inaccessible, and help you fix accessibility issues before sharing your workbook with others.
Feature Spotlight: Accessibility ribbon
As a part of our goal to help you create accessible content, there is a new contextual ribbon called “Accessibility” coming to Excel. The Accessibility ribbon will be available when you open the Check Accessibility pane on the Review tab. On the Accessibility ribbon you will find a collection of the most common tools you need to make your workbook accessible. The ribbon is available today to those in the Office Insiders program.
To learn more about the Accessibility ribbon, view our announcement on the Office Insiders blog. If you are interested in learning more about how to create accessible workbooks, check out our support article Make your Excel documents accessible to people with disabilities.
Please let us know what you think! Your feedback and suggestions shape our approach to accessibility and inclusive design. To get in touch, contact the Disability Answer Desk or use Help > Feedback. We look forward to hearing from you!
This is the first in a series of blogs about our accessibility work in Excel. We hope you will join us over the next several months as we discuss exciting new improvements to Excel through an inclusive lens.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.