Accessible documents

If your documents, whether hosted on a website or transmitted by email, are inaccessible you are losing business and credibility.

What is Access iQ’s Accessible Document Service?

Access iQ is a service of Media Access Australia. The Accessible Document Service provides document remediation expertise to make digital publications and other document types accessible for people with disabilities and compliant with accessibility guidelines and standards. 

Document remediation is the process of converting a normal digital publication or other document into a resource that is accessible by people with vision-related disabilities, in particular.

Accessible documents do more than help people with a vision-related disability; they also help other groups, such as:

  • People with a cognitive disability
  • People with a mobility disability
  • People from non-English-speaking backgrounds
  • People with varying education levels
  • Older members of the community

Accessible Documents and the path to digital accessibility

While there is growing awareness among organisations that their websites must be accessible to people with disabilities, often this awareness does not extend to the need for the documents hosted on a website to also be accessible.

This need, beyond the positive movement toward greater social inclusion, is also rooted in sound business sense. If your customers can’t access your policy documents, publications, account statements, bills, forms, shareholder reports and other communications and information, how long do you think they will remain a customer?

The need for accessible documents also has a legal, policy and standards dimension.

For example, Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Section 5) requires that people with a disability not be treated less favourably than someone without a disability, and, that organisations make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities.

The Australian Human Rights Commission in its World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes ver 4.0 (2010) is more explicit, identifying specific issues with the Portable Document Format (PDF), in particular.

Awareness, application of and compliance with standards, such as PDF/UA (Portable Document Format/Universal Access), is also growing.

The bottom line is: All your digital publications and documents distributed online must be fully accessible and usable by people with disabilities.

How does the service work?

Step one – Send us your documents
Step two – We provide you a quote
Step three – Your documents are reworked to become accessible
Step four – We send back compliant, useable documents, ready for use.

What does the Accessible Document Service actually do to my documents?

Document content is ‘tagged’ correctly so that users of assistive technology—such as a screen reader, which interprets the text and reads it aloud—can navigate and comprehend the document easily.

Important tags include:

  • Table of Contents which link to the correct pages
  • Identification of Headers and Footers
  • Headings
  • Paragraphs
  • Lists
  • Proper mark up of table data, column headings and row headings
  • Links
  • Formulas
  • Bookmarks

All graphics, images and charts will have an appropriate alternative text description.

Colour and fonts will meet minimum requirements under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

Why should I use Media Access Australia's Accessible Document Service?

Media Access Australia's accessible document remediation team provides reliable and cost-effective accessibility solutions. Our clients have come to rely on our accessibility services to make their digital publications fully accessible.

With our extensive experience across the broader area of digital accessibility—consulting, auditing, professional development, and training—we are equipped to provide accessible documents as a one-off project or part of an organisation-wide move to accessibility.   

Our methodology approaches accessibility as more than just a compliance or legal issue. Accessibility is about providing unhindered access to information, services and resources so that business, government and educational organisations can provide maximum engagement with, and satisfaction to, their customers.

The digital accessibility journey

Media Access Australia's Accessible Document Service is just one of a suite of services available to place your organisation on the journey toward digital accessibility and greater inclusion.

On-site training

Poor document creation habits are the cause of inaccessible documents. Media Access Australia can provide on-site training for your organisation on how to both create accessible documents from the beginning and how to remediate your own existing documents.

Customised Accessible Templates

In addition to document remediation and on-site training, Media Access Australia can design accessible Microsoft Word templates for your organisation—a cost-effective solution for defined-layout documents that are used regularly or continually. This is great for businesses that heavily rely on customer correspondence, newsletters, meeting minutes and other formats that need to be accessible from the outset.

Additional services

Additional services to improve your digital accessibility include our: