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Did you know that standards that meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) need to be fully implemented by 2025?
One of the key requirements of AODA is ensuring digital documents are accessible to everyone. Updating all Word documents to ensure digital accessibility can be time consuming and costly, especially when working with external vendors. That’s why this skillset is in-demand by employers to have in-house. By getting a microcredential in this area, you will not only increase your marketability, but you will also contribute towards a sustainable, digitally-accessible future.
What to Expect
This Curv Microcredential shows you can use common tools to ensure document accessibility. This includes how to add alt text to images for people using screen readers, or how to use header tags (e.g. H1, H2, and H3) to reduce barriers within your Word documents before sharing them with others.
When you sign up, we provide refresher resources and practice exercises that you can do on your own to prepare. Then, you will be asked to complete an assessment showing what you can do. Your work will be reviewed by an expert and you will receive a personalized result. If you meet our standard for expertise, you will receive a Toronto Metropolitan University Curv Microcredential from The Chang School that proves you can:
- Evaluate Microsoft Word documents for missing or improperly implemented accessibility elements
- Use relevant features in Microsoft Office to apply accessibility fixes
- Effectively remediate document accessibility issues related to structure and layout, colour and contrast, images, hyperlinks, tables and charts, and reading level and legibility
- Follow a logical order of operations to ensure accessibility
Meet the Industry Expert
Meet Greg. This Curv Microcredential was created by Greg Gay, expert in the web accessibility field since the mid-1990s and lead on many research and development projects in information technology and accessibility. Greg is an expert in both the technical and non-technical aspects of accessibility, evangelizing inclusive design as a best practice for building IT systems that are usable by everyone.
Who Should Take This Program?
This program is suitable for anyone who is:
- Looking to boost their capability for document accessibility
- Concerned about digital barriers
- Tasked with ensuring that your workplace is AODA compliant
This credential demonstrates your commitment to digital inclusion for yourself, your workplace, and your community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for this microcredential?
You should have foundational knowledge and skills in designing and remediating Word documents for accessibility before enrolling. If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions, then you may be ready to enroll:
- Do you understand the relationship between WCAG principles and accessibility in Word documents?
- Do you understand how images are made accessible in Word documents?
- Do you understand how to structure Word documents to be accessible (e.g. headings, lists, and tables)?
- Are you familiar with strategies for Word document readability and legibility, including reading level, contrast levels, and font use?
- Have you used the Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker?
- Have you used the results provided to you in the Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker to remediate Word documents?
What do I need to do for the assessment?
For the assessment, you will be finding and remediating accessibility issues in a Word document. Once you complete the assessment, you will receive your result from an expert assessor.
What are the technological requirements for the assessment?
You will need a:
- Desktop version of Office 365, Office 2021, or Office 2019
- Stable Internet connection (no minimum connection speed required)
- Computer with an Internet browser (e.g. Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
- Mobile phone* capable of receiving an SMS text message
How much time do I have to complete the assessment after enrolling?
Your microcredential will last two weeks. In the first week, you will have access to the microcredential environment (D2L Brightspace) to explore the supporting materials and practice activities that prepare you for the assessment. The supporting materials are self-paced and can take approximately two to seven hours to complete, depending on your prior knowledge and experience.
In the second week, you will gain access to the assessment. You will be able to open the assessment window at any time within that second week. Depending on the microcredential, the assessment window may be time limited (for example, three hours).
What are my support options?
Upon enrolling, you will have access to supporting resources that will help you access the required software for the assessment. If you have any questions or experience any technical issues, you may contact Toronto Metropolitan University’s Computing and Communications Services (CCS) by email or phone.
What happens once I complete the assessment?
Once you complete the assessment, you will receive personalized feedback and a mastery score from the expert assessor.
If you are able to demonstrate mastery and pass the assessment, you will receive a shareable Toronto Metropolitan University digital credential. This credential can be shared on your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or anywhere you want to display your achievements.
If you are not able to demonstrate mastery and do not pass the assessment, you can re-enrol and try again when the next offering of this microcredential is available. Be sure to review your personalized feedback and ensure that you have filled any gaps in knowledge or skill before registering for a future offering of this microcredential. The Chang School website, Understanding Document Accessibility, includes free resources on document accessibility that may also be of interest.