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National Proofreading Day – Tips for Accessible Proofreading

Have you ever noticed just how many national and international celebratory days there are on the calendar? Join the Bridges Helpdesk this month to delight in some of our favorite themed days with us! Topics include:

  • March 1: International Zero Discrimination Day #ZeroDiscriminationDay
  • March 8: National Proofreading Day #NationalProofreadingDay
  • March 15: World Social Work Day #WSWD
  • March 22: National Goof Off Day #NationalGoofOffDay
  • March 29: National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day #MomAndPopBusinessOwnersDay

Today, join us as we discuss accessible proofreading for National Proofreading Day.

Individual Proofreading

When you turn in assignments or professional documents, proofreading will keep all of your content as error-free as possible. Proofreading is a critical skill and is one of the keys to advanced writing. Here are some suggestions for proofreading your documents:

Braille Technology

  • If you have a Braille display, you can read exactly what is written on the computer in your document rather than listening to it with a screen reader.
  • This can help you catch spelling and grammar errors that you may not have noticed when listening.
  • You could also choose to use hard copy Braille by utilizing an embosser to create almost instantaneous copies of your text.

Spelling and Grammar Checks

  • Microsoft Office and other programs have built-in spelling and grammar checks which are accessible with screen readers. The layout of the menus for these features will depend on the version of Microsoft you have as well as the length of your document.
  • For all checks, however, the proofreading starting key is F7. Here is a link at which you can learn more about Microsoft Editor features, which is available in newer versions of Word. If you have another version of Word and would like document proofing tips, the Bridges Helpdesk is here to help!

Screen Reader Settings

Collaborative Proofreading

Proofreading your own work is important, but many assignments will require you to offer revision suggestions on others’ work and receive edit suggestions on your work in return. In our increasingly virtual world, both blind and sighted individuals are relying more heavily upon track changes and comments in documents rather than the old method of red pen and X marks to make revision recommendations. There are two different types of virtual edits with which you can interact: comments and track changes.

  • Comments offer written remarks on a document and can be placed within the document, at the end of the document, or in a separate document.
  • Track changes are a copy-editing tool which allows a person to make wording, punctuation, or other small revisions on the document.


  • To add a comment in a document, move to the location in the document where you wish to add the comment.
  • Press the APPLICATIONS key to open the Context menu. Arrow down until JAWS says “new comment”.  You can then type your comment and press ESCAPE when finished.
  • To view comments made by others in a document or to review your own comments, press WINDOWS+; and choose “Comments”. You can then use your arrow keys to navigate through the comments. You can edit or delete a comment by pressing the APPLICATIONS key when focus is on the comment on which you want to take action.

Track Changes

  • Turn track changes on and off by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+E.
  • To navigate through a preexisting list of track changes, press INSERT+Z. Use the letter R to move through the list of track changes. The APPLICATIONS key will give you the option to reject or accept each track change.
  • More information on Tracking Changes with JAWS

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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