Web Accessibility in Sharepoint 2013

accessibility in sharepoint 2013

It’s been a while since our last blog on web accessibility in Sharepoint. That focused specifically on Sharepoint 2010 and whilst it has been useful to many, Sharepoint 2013 has brought with it a few web accessibility improvements worth mentioning.

From our research and discussions with experts on the subject, many now agree that Sharepoint 2013 has certainly improved in their efforts to meet WCAG 2.0 A and AA standard, although the conformance levels do vary depending on the features in question. Here is Microsoft’s description of Sharepoint Server 2013 Level A conformance, and Sharepoint Server 2013 Level AA conformance.

One area in particular is how Sharepoint renders web parts and zones as DIVs. Tables still need a little bit of tweaking for screenreaders (which is expected) and this video helps explain the process.

So in a nutshell, whilst Sharepoint 2010’s aims was to reach WCAG 2.0 AA compliance, most will agree that although not perfect it did come a long way from previous iterations. Sharepoint 2013 builds on this commitment from Microsoft and is certainly a positive response to the previous whitepaper.

Another indication that Microsoft is committed to accessibility came this week with the announcement that the popular Windows-Eyes screenreader will now be available for free with Microsoft office.

Eligible customers, using Microsoft Office 2010 or higher, will be able to download a full version of Window-Eyes at www.WindowEyesForOffice.com.

Have you had any accessibility related issues with Sharepoint 2013? What do you think about Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility? Do you think this offer for Windows-Eyes should be extended to Sharepoint and other products?


Charlie Carter is Director and chief web accessibility consultant at Webbism.


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1 Comment

  1. We performed an accessibility audit of Sharepoint 2013 using NVDA and were surprised to find that several Level A compliance issues were being triggered by NVDA. We will be running the audit again with Window-Eyes and More Accessible Mode to see if these issues go away. I was wondering if someone had the same experience.


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