Content Accessibility

Making web accessible content is not all down to technology and coding fixes. While the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) are your ultimate source for all things accessibility our poster will get you on the way.

10 Simple Things Writers Can Do To Improve Web Accessibility

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1. Give your content a unique title

Using a strong, unique and meaningful title that will clearly describe the purpose your content. This will not only assist screen readers, but also search engines.

2. Use headings to organise content

Make use of the heading structures in your content management system using the correct heading level and structure your content using meaningful headings.

3. Use plain English

Keep your language simple, at a high school reading level. If acronyms, jargon or technical language is required, provide plain English alternatives or a glossary.

4. Make your text easy to read

Choose left aligned text, rather than justified to improve readability and use the ordered lists provided in your content management system to present appropriate content.

5. Make links descriptive

Avoid using catchalls like ‘Click here’, ‘More info’ and ‘here’. Give your link a meaningful description to assist scan reading and screen readers.

6.Use meaningful alt-text on images

If an image is purely decorative set alt text to null (i.e. alt=””) otherwise use a description that would help a visually impaired person understand what is being represented.

7. Provide text alternatives for audio/video

Add synchronised captions to your video and provide a full transcript for both audio and video.

8. Use tables appropriately

When presenting tabular information, use an actual table, not an image and ensure headings are used.

9. Pay attention to colour contrast

Before overriding the default colours of your content management system, consider the colour contrast. If in doubt use a colour contrast analyser to check.

10. Images of text are bad

Avoid using images of text except for purely decorative purposes. Instead, use real text or ensure there is a text alternative (like an alt tag) available.

Tools to help you create accessible content

Just a handful of tools that we love, to help you along your accessible content journey.

  • How to meet WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference: WCAG 2.0 is the bible for accessibility and this awesome quick reference allows you to filter out technologies, levels and sections as they suit you.
  • Colour Contrast Analyser: Check how good the colour contrast is between your text and background with this handy tool. It will give you a pass/fail assessment against the WCAG 2.0 colour contrast success criteria.
  • WCAG 2.0 Map: This excellent map created by PWCs Stamford Interactive breaks down WCAG 2.0 into the principles, guidelines, sections and then the different levels of compliance.
  • Accessible YouTube Player: You may be surprised to know that YouTube’s video play does not conform to WCAG 2.0. Vision Australia have come to the rescue with this alternative which you can use under their creative commons license.
  • Captioning YouTube Videos: Relying on auto-caption can lead to useless, although possible amusing results. The National Centre on Disability and Access to Education have a tutorial and step by step instructions for how to create captions in YouTube.
  • Writing in a readable style: 10 tips from 4 Syllables on how to make your writing more clear, direct and concise.

Websites representing good accessible content practices

Sometimes it helps to have examples to model after when creating your own accessible content. Here are a few which we think are doing a great job of content accessibility.

Gov.UK

Gov.UK

City of Monash

City-Monash

Melbourne Water 

Melbourne-Water

Yarra Ranges Council

Yarra-Ranges