Adding Speak Cells for Accessibility in Excel


Versitas is a company that creates and trains people on how to use Microsoft programs. “Speak Cells” in Microsoft Excel is a recently discovered tool in which the program reads the information in each cell for those who have little to no sight. To use the feature, the “Speak Cells” icon needs to be added to the Quick Access Toolbar. There are several Speak Cell commands – Speak Cells, Stop Speaking Cells, Speak Cells by Column, Speak Cells by Row, and Speak Cells on Enter. All, some, or none of these options can be selected, depending on the nature of use. After the desired commands have been selected, you are ready to begin listening to the data in your spreadsheet. Versitas representatives assert that this program is not just for the vision impaired, as it can help with strained eyes and overall accuracy with data input.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.