Checklist for accessible content
Accessibility means providing equal access to information for all our audiences, with special consideration for people with disability. Here are some simple things you must do to make your content accessible.
When in doubt, publish as a web page.
1. Always use plain English
Using plain English helps people with memory issues. It's also important for people who use English as an additional language or dialect, or those who have low levels of literacy. It will also help people on the autism spectrum.
For help with writing in plain English:
2. Use a font that's easy to read
Make sure you're using a sans serif font like Public Sans - the department's official font - or Arial.
Body text should be at least 12 pt, with line spacing of 1.5.
3. Write unique page titles
You may hear page title also referred to as 'page name' or 'H1 heading'. It is also used to create your web address (URL).
Each page must have a clear, unique title. It must be short and succinct enough to stand alone when read out of context.
The title should provide full context so that people can easily see if they've found what they're looking for.
The most important information and the words the user is most likely to have searched should be at the beginning of the search result.
4. Use headings to structure your content
Web users scanning your page should be able to easily understand what's there.
Headings help busy readers understand the structure of information and its hierarchy. Any headings should explain the content that follows.
Headings should always be nested correctly. For example, H1 should be followed by H2, H2 should be followed by H3, H3 should be followed by H4 and so forth. For example, H3 cannot follow H1.
Only use heading styles for headings, don't use it to visually format content that wouldn't make sense as a heading.
All headings, including page titles, must be in sentence case unless they contain proper nouns. Check the content style guide for use of capitals.
5. Use descriptive text for links
Never use 'click here' or 'more' or anything else generic. Screen reader-users tend to use links as a way of navigating the page, so a big long list of 'click here' is not helpful. Make sure the link text explains what you're going to get when you click on it.
Using keywords in your link text also helps with search engine optimisation. That means people can find your information and trust that it's the most relevant for their needs.
6. Always add text alternatives (alt text) to images
Alternative text (alt text) describes what's in an image. It ensures people who cannot see the image still get the information conveyed.
Never use images of text.
For more details, refer to the Style Manual's Alt text, captions and titles for images guide.
7. Use tables only for tabular data
Don't use tables for layout. Keep tables simple with no merged or empty cells. Make sure tables always have a header row or column.
Need more help?
If you would like to do more to make your content accessible, you can: