Accessibility in Microsoft Office 365


Microsoft Office 365 is an online subscription service. With Office 365, you automatically get the latest versions of Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Depending on the kind of subscription that you have, Office 365 offers many other services: email, shared calendars, the ability to create and edit documents online, instant messaging, web conferencing, a public website for your organization, and internal team sites.

Office 365 combines commonly used Office services including:

  • Create and edit Office files online with Office Online
  • Instant messaging, calls, and meetings with Lync Online
  • Team document sharing and websites with SharePoint Online
  • Email and calendaring with Exchange Online and Outlook Web App

Accessibility in Office Online
Office Online works online, in the browser. This makes its accessibility features work a little differently than Office desktop programs; to learn more, go to Accessibility Features in Office Online. For example, keyboard shortcuts might not be the same and the page layouts are different. However, all the keyboard shortcuts and other accessibility features that you know from the browser work in Office Online. You can also use the browser controls to zoom, to change text size, and to control screen colors.

Office Online provides WAI-ARIA support for assistive technologies (WAI-ARIA stands for Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications). If you use an assistive technology such as a screen reader or speech recognition software, you will have the best experience in Office Online if the assistive technology that you use supports WAI-ARIA.

Use familiar keyboard shortcuts
Many keyboard shortcuts from the Office desktop applications—such as Ctrl+B, Ctrl+S, and Ctrl+C—work as they do in Office on your desktop. You can also press the Tab key and Shift+Tab to move back and forth between elements on any page.

Work on and share Office documents with OneDrive
Office Online and OneDrive let you access files and share files with others from anywhere. Office Online is available for personal use in OneDrive for individuals. It’s also available for small businesses and organizations that subscribe to select Office 365 services.


Make your Office 365 experience accessible with features in Windows and Internet Explorer

Change how your screen appears
Most Office 365 components work in a web browser. This means that you can use the accessibility features in Windows and Internet Explorer or other browsers when you use Office Online. Learn how to make the computer easier to see to improve your Office 365 experience.

Zoom feature on the Internet Explorer status barUse accessibility features of your browser to improve the accessibility of Office Online
Use accessibility features in Internet Explorer, to zoom in on a webpage and change the color and fonts used on webpages. If you’re using a different browser, look for information in that browser’s Help about how to customize your display to the size, fonts, and colors you prefer.

Zoom feature on the Internet Explorer status bar


Accessibility in Lync Online for instant messaging, calls, and meetings

Use accessibility features of your browser to improve accessibility of Office Online
Microsoft Lync logoLync provides many accessibility features including keyboard navigation and keyboard shortcuts. You can also use the accessibility features of the browser, such as high contrast, sharing notification, and screen reader support.

Hear incoming messages read aloud
You can set up a screen reader to read incoming instant messages and “toast” notifications aloud. You’re also notified if your screen is being shared, and will be told the keyboard hotkey combination to access the sharing toolbar.


Use keyboard shortcuts for common tasks
Lync includes several frequently used keyboard shortcuts that make it easier to navigate and move between active windows. For example, Press Ctrl+1 to go to the Contact List tab in the main window, or press Ctrl+F to send a file from a conversation window.

Read more about accessibility features in Lync.


Accessibility in SharePoint Online for team document collaboration and websites

Microsoft SharePoint logoSharePoint Online includes More Accessible Mode, keyboard shortcuts, easy tab navigation, and help for web managers who want to ensure the webpages created are accessible.


Use your browser’s keyboard shortcuts
Like all Office 365 programs, SharePoint Online works in the browser, so keyboard shortcuts that work in Internet Explorer also work in SharePoint Online. If your browser does not support keyboard shortcuts, you can use the Tab key to move between commands. Find Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts.


Navigate the page with efficiency
The webpage and navigation elements on a SharePoint website—including the ribbon—follow a logical and intuitive tab order that allows you to navigate a webpage without a mouse.


Enable More Accessible Mode
More Accessible Mode changes the way a webpage renders and allows items such as menus and optimized fields to work better with assistive technologies, such as screen readers.


Accessibility in Outlook Web App and Exchange Online for email and calendaring

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 logoWith Outlook Web App and Exchange Online, you can listen to email on your phone, manage your calendar, and use familiar keyboard shortcuts when you are managing email and your calendar online.


Use keyboard shortcuts
In addition to the shortcuts you use to navigate in your browser, you can also use the Tab key to switch the cursor between elements on your screen.


Listen to your email over the phone
You can manage your email inbox when using an analog, digital, or mobile telephone.

You can use touch-tone or voice commands on your phone to hear email messages read aloud, listen to voice messages, interact with your Outlook calendar, and access your personal contacts.

Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook Web App

Use Outlook Web App email with a screen reader

Accessibility in Microsoft Exchange Online

Microsoft Office 365 logo

Free screen reader

AI Squared (formerly GW Micro) and Microsoft are pleased to offer customers using a licensed version of Office 2010, or newer, a free download of Window-Eyes screen reader for Windows PCs.

For more information and to download Window-Eyes, visit www.windoweyesforoffice.com.