Digital Content Accessibility

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Digital Content Accessibility guidelines are very similar to the guidelines and standards for ensuring web content is accessible, however the techniques to achieve accessibility will vary depending on the format of the document.

The most common file formats posted on websites and used for sharing and disseminating information are:

  • Microsoft Word .docx
  • Adobe .pdf
  • Mircosoft PowerPoint .pptx
  • Microsoft Excel .xls


  • Ensure that document files posted on websites contain text and are not scanned images. (Copying a document on a photocopier to create a pdf attachment, creates a scanned image.)
  • Provide accurate metadata in document properties.
  • Provide document structure by using appropriate headings (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>). Screen readers rely on document structure for navigation.
  • Provide logical reading order.
  • Add appropriate alt text to all meaningful images.
  • Add appropriate alt text to charts and graphs.
  • Consider adding long description alt text when a longer description is required.
  • Add the functionality to skip to the main content.
  • Add appropriate labels to forms.
  • Provide sufficient color contrast between text and background colors.
  • Explain all acronyms.
  • Use checklists for evaluation.
  • Navigate your website without a mouse, using only the keyboard.
  • Evaluate your website using a screen reader.