In Word 2016, for Mac or PC, when using bold or italics for emphasis in a document, consider using the style “strong”. It is in the styles group along with normal, heading 1, heading 2…. A screen reader does not add emphasis to bold or italics, but will if you use strong. In appearance, strong is set to a default bold. However, you can modify the styles to whatever you would like. To learn how to modify your styles go to this page, scroll down to “to modify a link” and use the instructions to set the styles to your preferences.
As a general rule, if you add color, bold, italics, or underline for emphasis in a document, consider selecting just one method of conveying emphasis. Around 5% of the population is color blind, and around 2.3% of the population has a visual disability. The color can be problematic for a color blind individual, and none of those methods of emphasis are conveyed through a screen reader.