Accessibility Guidance for Infweb Editors and Publishers
Guidance on how to make sure your Infweb content is accessible.
Although many aspects of website accessibility are taken care of by the Infweb Content Management System, there are still considerations you must make when creating accessible content on Infweb. This page offers guidance on how to improve the accessibility of yoiur content, however this is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead conisder this a starting point from which to develop and improve the accessibility of our content.
Uploading additional resources
Anything you upload or link to on your website must also be accessible. This includes:
- Documents such as PDFs, Word Documents and PowerPoints,
- Audio files,
- Image files,
- any other additional files.
Visual content must be accompanied by a text alternative. This is easy for images because alternative text for image assets (photos, charts, graphs etc.) is required by the Infweb CMS, however it is important to remember that this is a requirement for any non-text content e.g. videos must be subtitled and a transcript povided.
Alternative text should be a meaningful description of the image, so should not be the same as any caption you write. For example, this picture of Jane (right) is captioned 'Jane Hillston' but the alternative text is, ‘photo of Jane Hillston sat behind desk with hands clasped’. This describes exactly what is seen in the image in a meaningful way.
Avoid uploading images of text for decorative purposes e.g. a poster made using graphic design software. The text on this image will not be readable by a screen reader, causing an accessiblity issue. If this is unavoidable, all text must be provided as alternative text or a plain text alternative must be readily available.
Videos need to be subtitled and a transcript provided, and a transcript must be provided for any audio files. If this is not possible - e.g. you upload a video with no sound or text, you upload an audio file of music - a meaningnful description must be provided.
When uploading text files including (but not limited to) PDFs, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations you should follow these general tips below to make your documents accessible:
- At the end of all documents, both internal and external, the words 'this document is available in alternative formats upon request such as large print' should be added.
- The name, email address and phone number of the person or department to contact for this should be given. You should always include two methods of contacting the person or department responsible for a document i.e. any two out of email address, phone number and postal address. Providing two of the same means of contact e.g. two email addresses is not enough.
- A copy of the document in the requested format should be provided to the individual free of charge.
- If a copy of the original document is kept in Word, it is quick and easy to enlarge the font size or print a copy onto coloured paper.
PDFs are the most commonly uploaded document to Infweb, so ensuring all PDFs are accessible is a particular priority. When creating PDFs prepare the document in Microsoft Word first, as it is easier to write an accessible document in Word. When creating your document in Word it is important to:
Keep text layout as simple as possible, for example avoid using text boxes. Complex layouts make it harder for Acrobat to infer the correct reading order during conversion to PDF, which may reduce the accuracy of screen reading software.
Use paragraph and heading styles, such as ‘Heading 1’, to define the document’s structural elements, instead of simply changing the font size by hand. Acrobat will use Word styles to establish the document structure and generate bookmarks for easy navigation.
Use the bullets and numbering tool to create lists; do not use the TAB key to format a list or create a table.
Add text descriptions (‘alternative text’) to graphics that have meaningful content.
It is also useful to keep a copy of the document in Word format so that it can be easily converted to alternative formats if required.
Requests for documents in alternative formats will be infrequent and therefore not a huge burden on time or resources, but this service is invaluable for the individuals who require it.
For practical guidelines and more specific information on different document types, see the Information Services webpages on producing documents in alternative formats.
Page titles and text headings
The title of your page should be descriptive and specific – empty words like ‘information’ or ‘apply’ are not good enough!
Page content should be structured using headings. Use the headings in the order they are numbered without skipping any i.e. heading 2 should be used under heading 1, not heading 4. The different heading styles are there to help you structure your text in the best way for screen readers and assistive navigation tools, not to give you style options.
Structure your content in a way that makes sense and is predictable, so that it can be navigated easily with assistive technologies.
If you would like to highlight a specific phrase within a body of text you can use the ‘strong’ (bold) option, however this should be used sparingly. Do not highlight using block capitals as this cannot be detected by assistive technology.
Do not embed URLs within the body of your text
URLs should be on a separate line from standard text, and should be linked to a description of the website rather than writing the URL.
General style considerations
Text should be clear, concise and easy to understand
All text should be clear and concise, simple and direct. Technical words should be explained and avoid using acronyms and abbreviations where possible. When you cannot avoid using an acronym or abbreviation, you should immediately follow the first instance of use with the expanded explanation in brackets. You should also tag abbreviations and acronyns using the ‘abbreviation’ button (Ab in box) in the toolbar.
The table option is intended to be used for presenting statistics or figures. It is not designed for formatting text or images in a way that might seem more aesthetically pleasing, as in doing this you create accessibility issues for viewers on mobile devices. Avoid using tables unless you are presenting statistics/ figures.