Accessibility Boutiques and Seminars

Accessibility boutiques and seminars are workshops presented by our access technology experts that provide introductions to accessibility best practices and the latest trends in access tech.

These events are offered by the National Federation of the Blind at no cost to Maryland citizens with support from the state of Maryland through the Nonvisual Accessibility Initiative grant administered by the Maryland Department of Disabilities.


February 17: How to Create Accessible Documents

Wednesday, February 17, 1:00–5:00 p.m. ET, Zoom Teleconference, Register

This seminar will describe how to create accessible documents from start to finish. We will use real-world examples and interactive portions to give you a solid foundation in the area of document accessibility.

  • Document accessibility
    • Introduction to WCAG
    • Introduction to access technology
  • Word document accessibility
    • The basics of Word accessibility
    • Creating accessible forms
    • Word accessibility checker
  • Activity: Creating an accessible Word document
    • Participants will start with a badly formatted Word document and attempt to make it accessible. This will include headings, forms, tables, etc. The session leader will be there to help with any issues that come up.
  • Word document review
    • Participants will be come together and talk about the document they just created. The session leader will have the master copy that participants should be trying to recreate.
  • PDF accessibility
    • PDF accessibility testing
    • Converting accessible Word docs to PDFs
    • PDF remediation
  • EPUB accessibility
    • Basics of EPUB
    • Word to EPUB3 tool

March 30: Utilizing Smart Phone Accessibility Features

March 30, 2020 2-3:30 PM EST, Zoom Teleconference, Register
Audience: Blind and low vision students, Blind technology users, Seniors

Using a smart phone can be confusing with how many features and options are available. Over the past decade, companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have added accessibility features into their smart phones to make them more accessible to blind and low vision users. Join us on March 30, 2020 2:00-3:30 PM EST via Zoom to learn how to best utilize your smart phone accessibly. This boutique will cover:

  • iOS and Android accessibility  
  • Mobile applications built specifically for accessibility
  • How to do your own research for new accessible applications  

April 14: A Deep Dive into Accessibility Testing

Wednesday, April 14, 1:00–5:00 p.m. ET, Zoom Teleconference, Register

This seminar discusses both automated and manual accessibility testing. You will end the day with a solid foundation in making your site easier to use for the greatest number of people.

  • Introduction to accessibility testing
    • WCAG
    • Automated vs. manual testing
    • Overview of tools
  • Introduction and demonstrations of automated testing
    • Strengths and weaknesses of automated testing
    • Types of automated tools
    • Demonstration of single page tools, contrast checker, Wave, AXE extension, and more
    • Discussion of SortSite and automated tools for scanning entire site
  • Activity: Review a single page with Wave and contrast checker
    • Participants will go to the indicated page and run both Wave and contrast checker. Participants will be guided through some errors and encouraged to pick out others. Potential false positives will be indicated also.
  • SortSite report review
    • Participants will be provided with a report generated from SortSite. We will walk through the report, discussing various types of errors and manual checks.
  • Manual testing
    • Why manual testing is needed
    • Testing without a screen reader
    • Using NVDA for testing
    • NVDA features that make testing easier
  • Demonstration of testing with and without screen reader
  • Activity: Testing with screen readers
    • Participants will be directed to download NVDA prior to the session and will be provided with recommended settings and a site to test.
    • Users will be guided through testing a page as well as basic screen reader keystrokes.

June 16: Getting the Most Out of Microsoft Office with a Screen Reader

Wednesday, June 16, 1:00–5:00 p.m. ET, Zoom Teleconference, Register

Mastering the basics of Office may be easy, but using its advanced features with a screen reader can become tricky. Even if you begin as a novice, during this seminar you will progress toward becoming an advanced user in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

  • Word
    • Headings and styles
    • Track changes and comments
    • Working with graphics
    • Table accessibility
  • Excel
    • Pivot tables
    • Building charts
    • Working with multiple worksheets
    • Advanced tools
  • PowerPoint
    • General PowerPoint instruction
    • Adding multimedia
    • Working with graphics
    • Presenters notes and other tips
  • Outlook
    • Advanced mail techniques
    • Scheduling and calendar techniques
    • Tasks
    • Notes

More Information

For more information about our accessibility boutiques, please call 410-659-9314, option 5, or email