Practical Accessibility:Document Accessibility and Compliance

There are two main reasons you or your organization may want or need to make ALL your publications accessible to users with disabilities:

  • You’ve got a contract with a governmental agency and your deliverables requires “compliance” to the 508 code regulations.
  • You have a lot of valuable information published that isn’t accessible to sight impaired users, a growing user group who more and more depend on a computer with a screen reader to read documents, web pages, and powerpoint presentations,  “out loud” (text-to-speech).

Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated screen-reader is no match for most of the web sites it encounters; it just sees the code, and it most likely is a confusing mess if it works at all. (Try it yourself, if you don’t believe me, download NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA), a free open-source reader, try it out on one of your publications….).  Full “compliance” with the code may not be needed, but your docs  will benefit greatly if they are accessible.

Practical accessibility means that the document reads in a logical order, provides descriptions of pictures, and is navigable for users with disabilities. Ask us about your documents- we can analyze them and give you a quote on practical accessibility or complete 508 compliance.