Skip Content

 Nipissing Logo Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA)


Accessibility of Office Documents and Office Applications

This site can help you create accessible office documents and choose accessible office applications for your organization. The guidance is based primarily on WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 1.0. For more details, see background information.

Authoring Techniques for Accessible Office Documents

Word Processing Applications:

Microsoft Word

Spreadsheet Applications:

Microsoft Excel

Presentation applications:

Microsoft PowerPoint

PDF Production Applications:

Adobe Acrobat
  • Acrobat Pro Guide
  • Acrobat Pro Guide w/Video



Overview and Assessment Framework

The Overview provides a high-level introduction to the project and the relationship between the different documents that are part of the ADOD Project. The Assessment Framework provides a low-level mechanism for assessing the accessibility of office documents, office document formats and office applications based on WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 1.0:

ADOD Overview

ADOD Assessment Framework

Office Application Accessibility Reviews

Office Application Accessibility Reviews

Background Information

While information about how to create accessible office documents currently exists on a range of web sites, the information can be incomplete, vendor-biased or specific to only a single office application. Governments, public sector organizations, and service organization that wish to comply with accessibility requirements, have expressed the need for centralized guidance for creating accessible office documents.

Our guidance supports the W3C-WAI process as it is based on WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 1.0.

  • users of office applications
  • purchasers of office applications
  • office applications/document format policy-makers
  • accessibility specialists
  • people with disabilities in any of the preceding categories
Public Review

In early October 2010, a public invitation to review and comment on the documents developed for the Accessible Digital Office Documents Project was issued. By the end of October we had received feedback from 11 contributors, encompassing accessibility experts, organizations and office application developers. Thank you to everyone who contributed feedback!


Jutta Treviranus (Principal Investigator), Jan Richards, Sabrina Ruplall, Vellicia Christanto.


Modification provided by Nipissing University's Office of Learning Integrations and Training in the Winter of 2013


This project has been developed by the Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University as part of an EnAbling Change Partnership project with the Government of Ontario and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Partner logos: UNESCO-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Government of Ontario and the Inclusive Design Research Centre (OCAD University)

Anysurfer logoCity of Toronto LogoOCAD University Logo

Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) Project by Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Modfied under creative commons;

NU logo

All videos produced by Nipissing University, Learning Integrations and Training group

homefooter end of page