Digital Content Accessibility

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Revision as of 14:44, 13 November 2013 by Jzuppan3 (talk | contribs)
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Content or Document Accessibility refers to the documents saved in common file formats that are posted to websites or distributed through email and the need to provide them in an accessible format. Documents that are designed using accessibility standards and guidelines are beneficial for all users. Accessibility considerations include: document structure, navigation, alternative text descriptions, logical reading order, and adequate labels.

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


Your Document Should:

  • Be Navigable (has headings, bookmarks, etc.)
  • Read in a logical order
  • Contain text rather than a picture of text (i.e. scanned documents)
  • Have file security disabled
  • Contain images, charts, and graphs that are described using alternative text
  • Contain form fields that have appropriate labels so you can tab through the form fields in the correct order
  • Use meaningful hyperlink text
  • Provide accurate metadata in document properties


Create Accessible Word Documents from Microsoft

Create Accessible Word Documents from WebAIM

Microsoft Word "Cheat Sheet"

Create Accessible pdfs from word documents

Acrobat X Pro best practices for PDF accessibility

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2010 (PC)

PowerPoint Accessibility Checklist from

JAWS Forms Mode

Accessible PDF Forms

Creating Accessible Excel workbooks

GSA 508 Tutorials, Guidance, Checklists