Accessible websites need accessible content

Close up view of a web page where content can be added. Accessible websites need accessible content.As our lives transition to digital formats it’s important to know some digital accessibility basics. Creating accessible websites is the first step. But accessible websites need accessible content too. If your Word or PDF documents end up on a website, will they be accessible? 

Gregg Vanderheiden from the Trace R&D Center has developed an Accessibility Masterlist which has more detail on accessible digital design. The Masterlist acts as both information and a checklist for developers and others.

The Masterlist is helpful for anyone engaging a web designer because it shows what needs to be considered.  Most web designers know about web accessibility and say they will meet the standards. However, standards are a minimum and tend to get tacked on at the end. Not the best solution – better to be integrated to avoid digital clunkiness. 

Some Quicksheets

Here are some of the 33 Trace R&D Center Quicksheets that summarise information:

What are Learning Disabilities?

Cognitive Disability

Accessible content – everyone’s business

A laptop is open on a desk and a tablet next to it. Accessible online content is everybody's business.You don’t have to be a technical expert to do simple things such as using a clear font and ensuring colour contrast. Describing images using the alt-text feature helps people with screen reader. It also adds to search engine optimisation which means Google will like you more. Captioning videos is essential because it is useful for everyone – it’s universal design. 

An easy-to-read magazine article from Canada explains more on their blog page, which is an example of clear text and plain language. The title of the article is, Experts calling on businesses to make their online content more accessible.

Web design is one part, uploaded documents also need to be accessible.Check out the WCAG for people who haven’t read them

A related resource is the Handbook for accessible graphic design. .

Accessibility Toolbar