What's new in accessibility for SharePoint Online

Our top priority is to make SharePoint Online easy to use, responsive, and accessible for people of all abilities. We’ve listened to you, the people who use SharePoint Online, and made improvements based on your feedback.

We’re committed to transparency and accountability, so we want to tell you about our progress with SharePoint Online, and also let you know what’s coming up in the near future.

August 2016 progress update

SharePoint home

The SharePoint home is your portal to navigate your intranet, finding the sites you use quickly and easily. Home helps you catch up with activity across your sites. Improved accessibility features include:

  • Landmarks and headings for easy navigation across the major areas of the page.

  • “Search as you type” experience that alerts screen readers when it finds matching content.

  • Improved navigation that lets you use JAWS table commands or arrow keys.

Learn more about the new SharePoint Online home at The Future of SharePoint.

Document libraries

People use document libraries more than any other feature in SharePoint. It is easier to create a new folder and upload files in the browser. The ribbon has been replaced by a trim command bar that contains intelligent commands that are relevant to the tasks at hand. The command bar lets you to pin important documents to the top, copy and move files, and import files from other libraries by adding links.

Other accessibility improvements include:

  • Landmarks and headings for easy navigation.

  • Keyboard shortcuts for all major document functions, including a shortcut (SHIFT+F10) for the details menu. Pressing the question mark “?” lets you browse the full list of shortcuts.

  • File and folder navigation that’s just like File Explorer. Use Up and Down Arrow keys to navigate between files, have the screen reader read out the file name and file type, and use the Left and Right Arrow keys to navigate between columns.

  • Upload progress announcements and other action confirmations.

  • Focus returns to where you were, so you never have to start from the top of the page.

Learn more about Modern document libraries in SharePoint.

Site Contents page

The SharePoint Online Site Contents page – which helps site owners, members and visitors better understand the activities occurring within each site – has been updated. The refreshed page offers better visibility into site activity and content that’s viewed most often.

Accessibility improvements include:

  • A site map that’s easy to navigate.

  • Tips for easier and more effective use.

  • Access for adding lists, document libraries, subsites and apps.

  • Navigation commands that are the same as those for the new document libraries. You can use the Up and Down Arrow keys to navigate between items, and the Left and Right Arrow keys to navigate between columns.

SharePoint Online mobile app for iOS

We shipped the first ever SharePoint Online mobile app for iOS. Tested to ensure its native experiences are accessible and usable prior to its full release, the app provides quick access to SharePoint Online team sites, organization portals and resources, and even a view into what the people you work with are working on.

Learn more about the SharePoint Online mobile app for iOS at Your intranet in your pocket - the SharePoint mobile app for iOS is now available.

Help and how-to support for accessibility

All our new features are accompanied by accessibility support articles that help people navigate and use screen readers with SharePoint Online.

Go to the Office Accessibility Center, and click the SharePoint icon link. It takes you right to help links.

Planned updates

By the end of 2016, more new experiences are planned for SharePoint Online. These include:

  • Lists – Re-designed SharePoint Online lists make it easy for people to collaborate on structured data directly from your team site to help your team organize content. You’ll have a much improved experience, and find better accessibility. We just shipped to First Release customers and look forward to it being released to market very soon.

  • Site Creation – The SharePoint Online site creation experience is being remodeled. Soon, you’ll be able to use a menu that guides you every step of the way. And you can add additional owners and members when you’re creating a site.

  • Team Sites Experience - Team sites enable sharing and communication within teams and across organizations. They provide the content, information, and apps that you rely on. The team sites experience is being updated and our home page is being personalized by Office Graph.

  • Modern Page Authoring - A new page authoring and publishing experience is being introduced, which will help you create attractive pages that are responsive, mobile and easy to share with your team and the organization.

  • SharePoint mobile app for Android and Windows Phone – We’re creating a SharePoint mobile app for Android devices and Windows Phone.

Change for SharePoint developers

We’re passionate about delivering accessible for SharePoint Online end users out-of-the box, but we know that developers need to build custom solutions on SharePoint Online. We are providing a new open-source development framework that lets developers use the tools they are accustomed to.

From an accessibility perspective, the framework includes a toolkit that provides components that developers can leverage to build solutions that fit well with the rest of Office 365.

Technical support for people with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or have questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Talk to us

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. We are committed to delivering great experiences to people with disabilities.

If you have feedback to offer, or requests to make of us, we encourage you to let us know via Microsoft Accessibility Forum.

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