The Accessibility Advantage: Creating Inclusive Documents and Videos

Andy Brown
Andy Brown

Accessing digital content presents varying challenges, reflecting the diverse needs of users worldwide. In terms of document accessibility, individuals fall into two broad
categories: those who can visually read text and those who rely on assistive technologies,such as screen readers, due to visual impairments or other disabilities. With over 2.2 billion people globally experiencing some form of visual impairment, ensuring documents and videos are accessible is not just a courtesy but a necessity to facilitate ease of reading and viewing for everyone.

Get started for free

Table of Contents:

    reading document

    Whether you are creating a PDF file or using any other extension, you should write it in an accessible manner. Websites worldwide are already suffering from lawsuits, and it’s only a matter of time until this affects documents and other content as well. To protect yourself and to help others gain access to information, you need to learn how to make every document and videos accessible. This article will show you how to gain the accessibility advantage.

    What Are Inclusive Documents?

    Inclusive digital documents are those that can be read and understood by everyone, including disabled people. In these documents, images, text, graphics, and multimedia content are laid out to have higher visibility or be simple to read using a scanner. 

    Some documents are more accessible, DOC and DOCX being the least readable options. You could easily make PDF fillable, enhancing their accessibility compared to some other formats, but it also has to adhere to some standards. However, once these files become accessible, they are reachable to a broader category of people, including those with visual impairments.

    Factors Contributing to Accessible Documents

    Let’s explore some aspects leading to the accessibility levels of a document:

    1. Clear Language

    File creators should provide content written in simple words. It increases the chances of more people understanding the text, even those with language processing disorders. Break the content into smaller pieces to make the text easy to comprehend. 

    1. Bullet Points

    This trick helps break down paragraph chunks, making the text easy to scan. Furthermore, lists allow users to get to the point faster and understand your content, even if they have a disability. Try creating lists featuring bullet points at least once every 400 to 900 words to improve the readability of a document. 

    1. Clear Headings

    Titles and subtitles are the first parts scanners go through, so it is important to structure them properly. To help those with visual impairments understand the hierarchy of a piece of content, such an action indicates to readers where one should look. Heading tags are important to set in these scenarios as they make the file more accessible to navigate through since visibility becomes much higher. You could edit PDFs online so the headings are clear to users who have limitations.

    1. Mobile Accessibility in Document Creation 

    The advent of mobile technology has revolutionized how we approach document accessibility. The ability to create a PDF on iPhone exemplifies this shift, providing a practical method for producing accessible documents. This feature is crucial for ensuring that documents are not only accessible to individuals with disabilities but also easily shareable across different platforms and devices. Embracing mobile document creation tools empowers everyone to contribute to a more inclusive digital environment, anytime and anywhere.

    1. Alt Text to Images

    Graphics are something visually impaired people cannot easily perceive. Yet, they often hold just as much importance as the words. Adding alt text to the document would be best to make the image more accessible for readers. If the text reader can comprehend the information, the phrase may appear below or above the graphic element.

    1. Format Consistency

    Being consistent is one of the most crucial aspects of inclusive design, not only for those with visual and language disabilities but also for individuals who have cognitive ones. Rather than trying to make sense of different formats, readers can place their entire focus on your message. For example, white spaces between sentences are often helpful to include readers with dyslexia but might be very confusing if only some segments have them.

    1. Correct Reading Order

    Creating a PDF often involves jotting down thoughts as they come to mind, which might lead to a document that's intuitively organized for sighted users. However, this intuitive layout can be a barrier for those with visual impairments, who rely on assistive technologies to access the content. To create a truly accessible document, it's essential to structure the content in a logical and sequential manner. This consideration ensures that the document can be easily navigated and understood by everyone, making it more inclusive.

    1. Appropriate Document Format

    HTML, EPUB, and PDF documents are accessible. But if your work mainly involves writing in Word, you may use tools such as PDF Guru to convert it into the appropriate format. Then, the file becomes easy to scan, expanding your documents' accessibility ensures they can be engaged with by a broader audience, including those using assistive technologies. For Mac users, editing a PDF on Mac can be particularly advantageous when ensuring documents meet accessibility standards, as the platform offers various tools designed for this purpose.

    1. Clear Color Contrast

    Blindness is not the only visual impairment people suffer from. Almost 8% of men and 1% of women are color-blind, meaning they distinguish objects well but cannot discern various hues. Should you use images or content in similar shades, people may not be able to see anything. As a result, choose a color contrast ratio, letting them tell things apart without much effort.

    1. Watermarks

    Plenty of document writers use watermarked pictures in their PDFs to signify ownership. The problem is that screen readers catch watermarks, decreasing the flow of every text. One way to prevent such a thing is to add images without a watermark or to insert an untagged PDF of the watermarked pictogram in the document. Learning how to edit a PDF file is critical in such a process, as its complexity is slightly higher. 

    Factors Contributing to Accessible Videos

    Adding subtitles can provide an alternative way for people with hearing loss or impairment to follow the dialogue in a video. Thankfully, adding subtitles to your video is quick and easy thanks to autocaption platforms such a BIGVU.

    Here a our suggestions for ensuring accessibility in your video:

    1. Use clear, easy-to-read font: Choose a font that is easy to read, with a good contrast between the text and the background. Avoid using fancy or decorative fonts that may be difficult to read.

    2. Ensure accuracy of subtitles: Make sure the subtitles are accurate and match the spoken content of the video. Errors in subtitles can lead to confusion and affect the user's ability to follow the video. Thankfully, BIGVU subtitle auto-fix makes this a breeze.

    3. Use proper timing: Subtitles should be timed properly to match the spoken words in the video. They should appear and disappear at the appropriate times to avoid confusion. Consider using a sync to speech effect in which the text is highlighted together with your speech.

    4. Add audio descriptions: Audio descriptions can provide additional context for those with visual impairments. Describing the visual elements in the video can help these users to better understand the content.\5. Include captioning for sound effects: Captioning for sound effects can help viewers to better understand the context of what is happening in the video. This can be especially helpful for those with hearing impairments who may not be able to hear the sound effects.

    The Bottom Line

    Accessibility has become something everyone has to be considerate of, especially when editing a document. As long as you do a good job at it, readers should not have too many problems understanding the message of your content.

    Create  10x  more videos with BIGVU
    Start your 7-day free trial today!
    Get started free
    *No credit card required