Presenter: Melissa Davidson


It’s not only physical spaces that need to be designed in a certain way so that people with disabilities can access and use them. There is also a lot to consider when making digital tools, apps and content accessible to a broad range of users.

Accessibility is gaining more attention worldwide, not only as ‘the right thing to do’ but also as a way for organisations to differentiate themselves and build their brand reputation. In the light of this, we may well see more requests to ‘edit for accessibility’ in future.

The good news is that there are some great user-friendly tools in standard Microsoft packages that can help make digital content more accessible. There are also easy-to-apply guidelines for writing and editing text that help people access digital content more easily. This session will give an overview of both.

We start by looking at the field of accessibility in the digital world. There is some amazing work being done here! We then look at some of the Microsoft tools editors can use to make content more accessible.

At the end of this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the concept of accessibility in the context of the digital world.
  • Show how improving accessibility for some actually makes things better for all.
  • Find and use the Accessibility Check feature in MS Word and PowerPoint.
  • Write better headings, alt text, link text, close captions and more.
  • Say with confidence that you’re an editor who can provide guidance and editing services on the subject.

I’ll present, show examples and share files delegates can work on with me during the session. The idea is rather to give delegates an overview of what is available so they can explore the tools further in their own time.


Melissa Davidson

Melissa worked as an independent copywriter, plain-language editor, trainer and consultant for several years before returning to the corporate world. She is currently employed as a subeditor for a team of talented writers at NTT, a global technology business. She is also a PEG mentor, focusing on business and plain-language editing.

Melissa Davidson