Accessibility

A series on accessibility topics for web writers. Covers the accessibility guidelines for text, images and PDF documents; using free tools to evaluate the accessibility of content.

Most recent articles

Are you swapping PDF for Word on your website?

In the last few months several clients have told me they’re removing PDF documents from their websites. Usually, I’d applaud this. Way too much content is locked up in poorly designed PDFs. But they’re swapping PDF for Word because someone told them Word was more accessible.

Accessible content for social media

Do you know how to make your social media posts accessible? In this article, we discuss ways to reduce accessibility barriers when writing posts, sharing links, and posting images and video.

Long descriptions for images – part 2

Long descriptions are text alternatives for complex or detailed images. In this article we look at how to write them by considering some examples that include charts and graphs, maps and plans, infographics, diagrams and technical drawings.

3 useful tools for web writers

One of the great things about the Internet is the range of tools and information now available—often for free. Here are 3 free tools I recommend. They’re simple to use. And they’ll help you write better content for your organisation’s website, intranet or blog.

Relying on PDF online? 6 reasons to stop

Many organisations are stuck on PDFs. Systems to help us create and manage information in more flexible formats exist. We’re just not using them. Perhaps we don’t realise why we should. We see the cost of change, but we’re blissfully unaware of the cost of locking up content in PDFs.

Haiku for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day aims to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility. To mark the occasion we created a set of haiku for web writers, based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

When is an image ‘purely decorative’?

Accessibility guidelines require us to use ‘purely decorative’ images in ways that let assistive technologies ignore them. Web writers do this by leaving text alternatives blank. This sounds simple enough, but sometimes it’s hard to decide when an image is ‘purely decorative’. In this article we discuss some examples that divide opinion and argue that blank text alternatives are often best.

Reducing reliance on PDF documents online

Some organisations publish large amounts of their online content as PDF documents. But PDF is rarely chosen because it’s been assessed as the best format for the content. In this article we discuss ways to reduce reliance on PDF.

Accessibility evaluation for web writers

Web writers should know how to check if their content is accessible. It’s not a difficult skill to learn, and a few simple tools will help. In this article, we discuss evaluating content against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Text alternatives for images with captions

Web writers must provide a text alternative for informative or functional images. But what should you do when the image also needs a caption? In this article we discuss the options.

A-Z of better web writing

If you want to write better web content, here’s an A-Z that should help. It covers attributes of quality content and other issues web writers should be aware of.

Writing for the web versus print

Good writing is good writing, regardless of the medium. So what makes writing for the web different to writing for print? In this article, we discuss one key difference—technical knowledge.