Everybody INTO the Pool! Creating accessible content and outputs

You know it’s important that your content and your outputs be accessible to users with visual, hearing, or motor impairment (among other disabilities). You’ve done your research and you have a list of criteria but how do you meet those criteria?

In most cases, accessibility is greatly improved by using plain language, clear diagrams, and larger, easy-to-read type; or by avoiding the use of color as a semantically meaningful feature. Still other usability features depend on various aspects of your DITA markup. For PDF outputs, some usability features rely on options available in the PDF renderer.

This presentation illustrates how to put accessibility guidelines into practice in your content. We’ll look at basic things like alt text for images, type sizes, and so forth; and we’ll also look at lesser-known DITA features like tagged tables. In addition, we’ll discuss what accessibility features come from your content and which come from your output process, such as PDF metadata and PDF tagging. The presentation will cover usability features common to both PDF and Web outputs.

What can the audience expect to learn?

While documentation teams understand that accessibility is important, there is less clarity on exactly what makes content accessible. Other than using alt text and big type sizes, many teams don’t understand exactly what they need to do or how to do it. This presentation offers concrete, step-by-step instructions for accessibility that writers and information architects can start using right away.

Meet the presenter

Leigh White is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, where she helps documentation groups evaluate their workflows and transition into the DITA CCMS. Leigh has spoken on DITA, content management systems content conversion, and DITA-OT plugin development at a number of conferences, including DITA North America, DITA Europe, Intelligent Content, Lavacon, Writers UA, DITA Netherlands, and Congility. She is the author of DITA For Print: A DITA Open Toolkit Workbook and a contributor to The Language of Content Strategy and The Language of Technical Communication. Leigh is also a member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee.

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