Making sure content is accessible is everyone’s business, and it’s not as tricky as you think.
Web accessibility means that online content is available to anyone who wants to access it, including people with disabilities using a screen reader and people using limited or mobile technology. Accessibility shouldn’t be seen as an extra burden for web writers – accessible content makes the online experience better for everyone.
Accessibility applies to websites and to documents that are available on websites. Here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Use styles to tag content (rather than manually applying bold, italics, etc).
- Don’t skip heading levels (eg Heading 2 must be followed by Heading 3 and should not skip straight to Heading 4). Check this in Outline view in Word.
- Provide alt text for all figures, maps and photos.
- Describe the contents and message of the image. For example, if you’re describing a graph, describe the overall trend of the data, not every data point.
- Enter your table as a table, not tabbed text, text frames or an image.
- Specify column header rows and don’t leave cells blank.
For more information, visit the Australian manual of scientific style.