Accessibility Features for Writing
About:Microsoft Word is the word processor that is most commonly used in LPS. Though this tool is marketed for the masses, it actually has superb built-in accessibility features! This page will cover accessibility features built-in to Word that allow students to use this tool as an assistive technology (AT) tool for writing. Did you know that Microsoft Word has the following features that can be used as AT Tools for Writing:
- Customizable student templates
- Easily accessed dictionary and thesaurus
- Customizable spelling and grammar check
- Readability statistics that let you show the grade level of the work
- Auditory editing capability via the "Speech" toolbar
- Customizable "Autocorrect" that will automatically correct your specific spelling errors
- Voice recording
- Annotation features
To learn how to find and use these features, download the handouts below or watch the videos! If you have questions about using Microsoft Word as an assistive technology tool for writing, just ask Rachel Kuberry.
Videos:How to easily access Microsoft Tools: This video shows you how to how to quickly and easily use built-in tools including the spelling and grammar check, the thesaurus, and the dictionary without missing a beat! These shortcuts are great to use, as students can remain engaged in the writing process, rather than trying to remember where the specific tools are hidden.Customizable spelling and grammar check: This video shows you how to customize the spelling and grammar check to hide those pesky red and green squiggly lines, and shows you where to go to make other customizations. Its great to know how to customize spell check, as those squiggly lines can be awfully distracting for some students.Readability statistics that let you show the grade level of the work: This video shows you how to access the readability feature of Word. This feature gives you statistics about your writing, including percentage of passive sentences and "grade level". Don't forget though, its just a computer, so don't rely on it to grade your work! This feature can be used by students to track their own writing progress as it gives clear, concrete data.Auditory editing capability via the "Speech" toolbar: This video shows you how to locate the speech toolbar and then use it to auditorily edit written work. You may not be able to monitor if you students really silently proofread their work, but you can monitor the computer reading it to them! Students may also hear errors that they may not have visually identified.Customizable "Autocorrect" that will automatically correct your specific spelling errors: This video shows you how to add your own misspellings to the autocorrect features so that Word will automatically correct them for you. It also shows you how to use autocorrect to expand your common abbreviations.Voice recording: This video shows you how to use Notebook Layout View to add voice recordings to your work. This is great for students who struggle with written output, as they can simply record their voice! You can also use this feature as a teacher to record instructions or give you students feedback on their work.