Digital Accessibility and Content Creation
Written by Matt Berringer
August 14, 2020
Digital accessibility ensures that all users — including those who have a range of movement, hearing, cognitive or sight abilities — can use digital content. Digital accessibility can apply to mobile apps, websites, PDFs, and other digital technologies and tools.
It’s about providing everyone access to the same information, regardless of the impairments they may have. Web accessibility, including PDF accessibility, is all about inclusiveness. When reviewing your previous content, including older technology like PDFs, your focus should be on building solutions for a diverse audience.
Avoiding digital accessibility issues includes ensuring that:
- Color contrasts are not a problem for users with impaired vision.
- Users with big thumbs or shaky hands can select the provided buttons and links.
- People with dyslexia can have texts read aloud to them.
- Users can navigate your content without the use of a mouse.
Why Accessibility Matters
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability and approximately 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. That’s reason enough to make accessibility a requirement in any digital content, from a PDF, magazine, guide or website.
There are many advantages to making your digital content accessible, including:
- Increased traffic and search engine optimization
- Increased conversions
- Future-proof and structured code
- Increased market share
- Increased brand awareness and customer satisfaction
- Ability to offer users sharper color contrast, more navigation options, explicit decoding of icons, input fields, images, and buttons links
Accessibility Standards & Guidelines
The goal for online accessibility, according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), is to enable people with disabilities to participate equally on the web. Examples of accessibility in digital media include but are not limited to:
- Websites must be navigable by keyboard for users who may not be able to use a mouse.
- Images include “alt text” for users with visual impairments.
- Screen readers that parse a website for individuals with visual impairments.
- Videos on sites are closed-captioned for users with hearing impairments.
Digital accessibility guidelines outlined by the WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 encompass 12-13 guidelines organized under the following principles:
To verify accessibility, whether it’s a PDF or any other digital content, according to WCAG guidelines, you must ensure the content is comprehensible. User interface components must be presented to users in ways they can discern.
Information and user interface components must be operable, meaning that users must be able to operate the interface.
Website visitors must be able to understand the operation of the user interface as well as the
Content must be robust enough to be interpreted by various user agents, including assistive technologies. As technologies and user agents evolve, content should remain accessible to a diverse audience of users.
Creating Digitally Accessible Content With Nxtbook Media
At Nxtbook Media, we can transition current content assets into accessible assets or help you publish accessible content from the ground up. Our digital publishing platform, PageRaft, can enhance accessibility in ways that deliver premium user experiences.
Since 2003, our team has made it our top priority to elevate a brand’s image and increase reader engagement using interactive, engaging, visually appealing digital content. We can help you transform your static PDF content which uses old technology, and may or may not be accessible, and create engaging and accessible content. Examples of the content we can bring to life include PDFs, magazines, journals, travel guides, catalogs, textbooks and manuals, digital archives, brochures, booklets, reports, e-newsletters and more.
Nxtbook Media’s digital publishing platform, PageRaft can help create accessible assets from your PDFs, magazines, and more. This helps ensure your digital content is readable by both sighted and non-sighted readers.
We’ll help you curate accessible content that will help you stand out from the crowd and increase your ROI. Creating accessible digital materials is a process that consists of a few stages, including considering accessibility from the beginning of document creation, adding fillable form fields and descriptions, setting the tab order, and adding other accessibility features as necessary.
Some of the benefits of moving on from PDF technology, and using our advanced platform include:
- We will assign you to our dedicated Partner Advocate team to discuss the best practices for your digital program.
- Digital content can be designed with accessibility in mind.
- More audience engagement and better insights into how people are viewing your content.
- You can take advantage of additional services that enhance your digital efforts, from native apps to email distribution campaigns.
Ask these questions when verifying your digital content’s accessibility:
- Have you tagged your document?
- Do you have a programmatically set language and title?
- Have the images in your PDF been given the appropriate alternative, or alt, text?
- Does your PDF have headings designed to help users navigate, and have you tagged those headings programmatically?
- If your content has tables, do those tables have headings?
- Have they been appropriately tagged? Have you verified the color contrast of your online content?
- Have you assigned appropriate labels to the form fields included in your document?
- Have you addressed accessibility issues within your text?
Schedule a Demo of Our Digital Publishing Platform
Usability improves the digital experience for all users, including those with disabilities and health conditions. Nxtbook Media can help you create accessible digital content from your PDFs, magazine or other digital content.
Have questions about how to transform your content? Schedule a demo today. We are here to answer your questions and discuss the many ways to make your digital content more accessible.