Every document I create is always accessible. But then I am not the average content creator. We find that there are certain type of documents that are easier to make accessible and others that need experts who understand how to do it!
As I see it, there are documents that are generally created in Microsoft Word or an authoring tool and then published to PDF. Most of the time these are relatively simple documents from a layout perspective.
These are simple to make accessible yourself using the Accessibility Checker. Most of the time it is simple things like:
- Using Headings & lists
- Planning your tables and adding table headers, etc
- Providing image descriptions, etc
Having said that we yet find people resisting making documents accessible. But if you create proposals, policies, or any simple word document, take the time to learn how to make it accessible. – A great resource from Microsoft – Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker.
More often than not, these are designed and created by people specializing in communications, marketing, and design. We find them using all types of tools from Canva (lately) to Indesign.
These generally have complex layouts, sidebar, layered images, just a lot to make the document visually appealing and also complex from a reading order perspective.
Yes, ideally one wishes that people make these accessible, but this is often where document remediation services help in making the document accessible. So if you don’t know how to do this, go to people that do know how to do this.
It isn’t only about technically how to make a document accessible but also the user experience you want for people with disabilities. Check out 247 Accessible Documents where we take away the challenges of remediating documents for you.
All in all, remember making digital documents accessible, is just as important as making websites accessible.