Sway promotes accessibility enhancements, enabling all to “do more”

Microsoft is continually adding accessibility features to its core group of productivity offerings such as OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and others. As Microsoft’s new interactive presentation software, Sway, joins the Office family, it too is receiving an accessibility focus.

Included in its July 2016, features update rollout are some new accessibility milestones for Sway that add Accessibility Checker, keyboard enhancements, High Contrast Mode, Accessibility View, Assistive technology that includes screen readers, and more.

Accessibility Checker

  • We’re excited to launch the Accessibility Checker to help authors:
  • Identify images or videos with missing alternative text.
  • Review and update all alternative text.
  • Review and update all non-descriptive hyperlinks.
  • The Accessibility Checker opens up to the left of the Storyline area, so you won’t have to switch back and forth while composing your Sway and checking its accessibility.
Accessibility Checker

Accessibility Checker

Keyboard enhancements

  • Everything that you can do with a mouse or with touch, you can now do with a keyboard.
  • Here’s how it works:
  • Use Ctrl+F6 to move among different areas in Sway, such as the menu bar, the left side pane, the Storyline area and the Preview mode.
  • Click the tab or the arrow keys to move across a given area.
  • Press Enter when you find the function you need.

Accessibility View

  • We’ve reached out to several people to ensure that we keep improving the Sway Accessibility View for our users. Today, it enables a variety of helpful functions, including:
  • It enables assistive technology to access all of your Sway’s content and provide you with jump locations.
  • It changes your Sway’s color scheme to black and white to provide you with higher contrast.
  • It switches Sway to vertical scrolling to make it easier for you to navigate your Sway with assistive technology or with a keyboard.

This and much more can be discovered in Sway. The Sway team has taken to the Office Blogs to highlight and cover each of the new accessibility additions in detail. We encourage anyone interested in using the accessibility features in Sway or any other Office product to visit the Office Blog for more information.

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