Microsoft provides extensive documentation in support of accessibility to many of its products and services. Not only does it offer guidance on making Office products accessible, as will be discussed further below, but it also offers direction for those who are developing Windows-based applications. Developers will want to explore the Accessibility Developer Hub.
Generally, when working with Office documents, such as those created using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, you will want to take advantage of Microsoft's tool to Check for Accessibility Issues. At this time, the checker will work with Word 2010 and 2013, Excel 2010 and 2013, PowerPoint 2010, several versions of Office 365, etc. Please visit the page for the most up-to-date information about how to activate the checker with the software version you are using.
According to the Rules Used by the Accessibility Checker, you will be able to identify issues such as:
This checker also points out warnings and tips, so it should serve as a valuable training tool to help improve document production for all.
Since adding alternative text will be important, when using all three of the Office products, this article, Add alternative text to a picture, shape, chart, table, or SmartArt graphic, is especially worth a look.
Here are a few more resources that you can use when working with Word. For example, Accessible MS Word Docs, from the Office of Accessible Education, is a quick reference that you can use to help you prepare documents for submission to the Scribe Project.