Document accessibility is a growing concern for businesses in the digital age. Ensuring that all customers, regardless of disabilities or limitations, can access documents and information is essential to provide an inclusive environment. PREP’s document accessibility software makes your job easy by remediating a document quickly.
In a digital-first world, your business needs to stay on top and adhere to every person, regardless of their disabilities. PREP’s innovative remediation solution can take you one step closer to making content accessible to everyone.
Why is Document Accessibility Important for Your Business?
- Legally Required
The omnipresence of the internet has made it crucial to consider everyone’s comprehensibility; hence, laws have been passed to necessitate digital accessibility. The government has made digital accessibility mandatory for every business in countries like the European Union, the United States, and Canada. Those who don’t oblige with the rules have to pay hefty penalties. Hence, to not have any legal actions taken, it is better to have your documents and website adhere to the digital accessibility rules.
- Wider Reach
According to the WHO, approximately 1.3 billion people encounter disabilities. So, when you don’t make your documents and digital presence disability-friendly, you leave those people from accessing your products/services.
- Brand Reputation
Companies need to ensure that their documents are accessible and easy to read by customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders. When documents are accessible, it is easier for customers to understand information and it encourage them to engage with the brand’s content. Furthermore, document accessibility allows businesses to reach larger audiences which helps build trust and loyalty towards the brand name.
- Customer Experience
Document accessibility is not only beneficial for businesses but also improves the customer experience. If businesses take proactive steps to become accessible, they can be accessed by people who may have difficulty reading or understanding certain content, such as audio-visual materials or PDF files. This will enhance their experience with your company.
- Improved SEO
Proper document accessibility ensures that websites are easy to use and navigate, allowing users to quickly find the information they need. This can help you reach a wider audience by improving the quality of your web content, increasing online visibility, and improving website ranking on search engines like Google. You allow users with disabilities or other limitations to access the same content as everyone else, creating an inclusive experience while increasing user engagement rates and website traffic.
Additionally, properly formatted documents are more likely to be indexed by search engine algorithms since they have a better structure and are easier for crawlers to digest.
How to Make Documents Accessible?
Now that you know why businesses need to focus on accessibility, here’s how you can make your documents accessible for everyone.
- Document Properties
Every document has properties like the title, creator, key search words, subject, and language. The best practice is strategically setting up these properties by utilizing key search words.
- Document Language and Title
Defining the document language helps screen readers to accurately switch the speech synthesizer to the appropriate language for precise pronunciation. Adding a document title helps the reader easily identify and locate the document.
- Alt Text
Alt text, or alternative text, gives an audible description of the non-textual features for users using screen readers. A screen reader does not read document elements such as images and interactive form fields until you have added alternative text.
- Structure Tags and Reading Order
To make a document sound sensible, people using the text-to-speech tool need properly structured tags that define reading order and identify tables, sections, headings, and sections.
- Navigational Aids
Navigational aids are the table of contents, tab order, headings, links, and bookmarks. They assist users in jumping on one specific search without reading the document word to word. Moreover, readers can navigate the content without a mouse.
In conclusion, document accessibility is a critical part of business success. It is essential for business owners to ensure that their documents are accessible and that there are no errors in their accessible documents, so that the content becomes easier for all users to grasp, regardless of their abilities or technological abilities. By making documents accessible, businesses can enable their users to easily access and use the documents, improving their customer experience and providing them with a competitive advantage in the marketplace.