Documents can be easily made accessible. It takes less effort to incorporate accessibility into your document from the beginning, rather than engaging in extensive remediation after the fact. The following principles apply to all document types regardless of the program used to create them. The following techniques ensure that your documents will remain accessible to individuals utilizing a variety of access methods:
- Use headings in a logical order
- Lists use proper bulleted or numbered formats
- Consider whether a table presentation is essential
- A table should have header cells identified
- Avoid complex tables and merged cells
- Images that convey meaning require alternative text (alt-text)
- Mark decorative images as such
- Use descriptive link-text and mask URLs
- It is always apparent to the user which action will occur upon link activation (for example download of a PDF)
- Sufficient color contrast of 4.5 to 1 exists between text and background
- Do not use color exclusively to convey meaning
When using the techniques above, you are creating an accessible document that makes exporting to an accessible PDF much less arduous. For specific information on creating accessible documents, refer to the guides below.
Microsoft Office and Adobe applications include built-in tools that can be used to check the accessibility of a document.