Global Accessibility Awareness Day logo

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). It’s a day dedicated to getting everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. To celebrate, let’s explore some fantastic tools that can help you create content accessible to as many people as possible.


Microsoft Office: Accessibility Checkers 

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint has a built-in Accessibility Checker that makes it easier than ever to ensure your presentations are inclusive. Here are some key features:

PowerPoint accessibility check ribbon
PowerPoint Accessibility ribbon
  • Inspect Without Color: This feature allows you to view your slides in grayscale to ensure there’s enough contrast between text and background. It’s also great for identifying issues where colour is used to convey information, such as charts or graphs. To access this, go to: Review > Check Accessibility > Inspect Without Color.
  • Alternative Text (Alt Text): One of the most common accessibility issues is missing alt text for images. Alt text provides a description of images for those using screen readers. In the Accessibility Checker, you can mark images as decorative if they don’t convey essential information, or use the AI-powered “Generate alt text for me” feature for a suggested description (just remember to review it for accuracy).
  • Reading Order Pane: After finishing your presentation, use this pane to ensure that the slide content is read in the correct order for those navigating with a keyboard.


Blackboard Ultra: Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally is another powerful tool for ensuring content accessibility. Here’s how it can help:

  • Module Accessibility Reports: Ally generates reports on the accessibility of your module’s content. These reports highlight serious issues and provide step-by-step guidance to fix them. The advice is user-friendly, explaining the significance of changes and showing how to implement them with context-sensitive help. Tis feature is available to module leaders only, read more about accessing the Ally Module Accessibility Report.
  • Alternative Formats: Ally automatically creates various formats from your original uploads to cater to different learner needs. These formats include audio, Braille, PDFs, e-book format, HTML (mobile-friendly), and the Immersive Reader. Most of these can be downloaded for viewing on any device.  Read more about Ally’s alternative formats.
    Download Alternative Formats
    Access alternative formats from the ‘A’ icon next to module content items
  • Immersive Reader: Integrated within Blackboard Ally and Microsoft products such as Word and Teams, the Immersive Reader offers a read-aloud feature with customisable viewing options. It supports different background colours, line focus, reading speed and voice, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and grammar highlighting.  Find out more about accessing the Immersive Reader in Blackboard Ally.
    Immersive Reader

By leveraging these tools, you can make your content more accessible and inclusive, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to engage fully with your materials.

If you require further support to make your digital resources more inclusive for everyone please contact

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) with Inclusive Content Creation
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