Office 365 - Accessibility of SharePoint Online

Last Updated: 03/23/2017

Accessibility Considerations

Microsoft’s SharePoint products (often referred to as Sites in the Office 365 suite) have been designed to include features that make the software easier to use for all users, including those with low vision, limited dexterity or other disabilities. However, given the nature of SharePoint as a website creation tool, accessibility concerned need to be considered by those creating content within or customizing a SharePoint site. Site creators should review Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) when customizing SharePoint sites.

Alternatives and/or Workarounds

Most SharePoint components work in a web browser and adhere to accessibility standards. However, in order to make SharePoint work better with accessibility tools (e.g. screen readers), SharePoint has an option called More Accessible Mode. The More Accessible Mode is most helpful in the following areas:

  • Menus: Instead of displaying a drop-down menu of options, a new browser window opens that contains all of the menu items as hyperlinks. The new window will display all options as links, which is easier for assistive technologies to interpret.
  • Optimized fields: Some fields (e.g. formatted text, images, tables, and hyperlinks) are difficult for assistive technologies to interpret. When More Accessible Mode is enabled, these fields are replaced with standard plain fields that are optimized for assistive technologies.

To turn on More Accessible Mode, press the TAB key immediately after you put focus on the page in a browser. Press the TAB key until you reach the Turn on more accessible mode link, and then press ENTER. Sometimes you have to press the TAB key more than once, if active focus is not on the beginning of the page.

Information for Content Creators

When creating web pages with SharePoint users should research accessibility standards prior to and during the site creation process. The following list references a few of these tools:

Additional Sharepoint Accessibility Information

Get Help or Provide Feedback

OIT has partnered with Disability Services to provide assistance for accessibility issues related to OIT supported services and we want to hear from you about this service. If you need assistance using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others, please contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone)