Getting accessibility right — 5 practical steps you can take

Once we overcame a little analysis paralysis, we jumped in and made a start.

We then focused on just getting the content into the CMS in a clean format and adding key heading styles and paragraph breaks.

The publication started to take shape.

Step 3: Come back to the hard stuffWe came back and added the infographics, figures, tables and decorative images.

I recommend adding these assets after you’ve added the paragraph content.

You don’t want to rush through your alt text.

Make sure it effectively conveys what’s in the image, be specific and keep it short.

Step 4: Check and double checkWe’d been looking at the HTML version of the report for a while and were starting to miss some obvious errors.

So we cross checked the document together.

We also had other people review the document to ensure we hadn’t missed anything.

Step 5: Done is better than perfect.

Things we could do better for next time.

While we were happy with our efforts, there was a timeline in Figure 2A which we didn’t make accessible.

The linear graphic and associated text meant it was hard to convert it into an online format.

Due to time pressure, we decided to go-live with a PDF of the figure in this case.

The future looks brighter for publications on vic.


auCreating the Monitor’s report in HTML was a workaround while we wait for delivery of the publications template we’re getting from the Single Digital Presence project.

We hope this template will encourage all content creators on our platform to take a digital first approach for any of their publications.

If it’s being completed by an external designer, we can even give them access to the CMS to create the HMTL version.

The new template will feature:Option to download the entire online version as a PDF.

Ability to add publisher, copyright and disclaimer information.

Pagination from one page to the next.

3 levels of navigation to help users get around your publication.

Figures that pull raw data so users can view the information in full screen or download.

We’re already having conversations with other content owners about creating digital first publications, some even include data visualisations.

But for people who only have regular website templates — don’t wait for a technical solution that may never arrive.

My experience has been that building a relationship with your content owners and approaching them when the time is right is more important in creating better accessibility than any tech solution.

Tools and support make a difference, tooWe’ve provided access to the Monsido platform for our content owners, so they can monitor accessibility.

We’ve also established a community of practice that meets monthly to provide support for maintaining content best practice.

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