Digital content tends to feel ubiquitous, but it is not universally accessible. In the modern world, complying with the requirements laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is vital.
To meet these standards, ADA compliant flipbooks must be screenreader friendly, adaptable, functional from the keyboard, easily navigable, and widely compatible with assistive technologies, among other things.
While it’s clear that accessible digital documents are a critical topic for contemporary businesses, many companies struggle with the specifics of this concept. We’ve broken down accessibility for digital businesses in this step-by-step guide to ADA compliant flipbooks.
What Makes a Document Accessible, and Why Is This an Important Consideration?
Accessibility is a simple concept that’s difficult to implement; it essentially just refers to the idea of ensuring your content can be obtained by anyone, including those with disabilities. A staggering 1 in 4 Americans live with some sort of disability (with the most common being cognitive or mobility issues), so if your content isn’t universally accessible, you could be cutting off a large portion of your potential audience.
An accessible digital document must account for all manner of potential impairments. For example, visually-challenged readers might need to utilize magnification tools; hearing-impaired audience members will need to view captions on any multimedia components of your flipbooks; those with mobility issues may prefer to use keyboard shortcuts when navigating your content. These are just a few instances in which businesses can fail to meet ADA compliance with their content.
Not only is inaccessible content a problem due to the fact that it does not meet legal requirements, but it also ostracizes a potential subset of clients.
How Can Businesses Ensure their Publications are Accessible?
One of the simplest ways to know that you are creating ADA compliant flipbooks is to work with a platform like DCatalog that has already established a system for creating content that meets these standards. Though we can take a great deal of the burden of accessibility off of your shoulders, there are certain steps that you still have to take during the content creation process to ensure that your digital documents and flipbooks are accessible.
For example, text cannot be encoded within images in the PDFs that you turn into flipbooks because it is impossible for screenreader software to decipher this information. Many flipbooks do not meet accessibility standards for this very reason: they are image-based, and therefore impossible to digest for the visually-impaired. Fortunately, the right industry partner can help you create an ADA compliant flipbook.
How Does DCatalog Prioritize Accessibility?
At DCatalog, we have long made it a priority to offer the best possible user experience, and that includes providing the most accessible flipbook options available. We convert PDFs into customized, interactive HTML flipbooks that can be easily and seamlessly navigated through keyboard shortcuts or an expandable table of contents.
Offline accessible versions of your publication can be utilized by screenreader technology, and our digital media integration options allow you to include captioned YouTube videos within your flipbooks without having to do hours of extra legwork.
DCatalog empowers you to customize the viewer toolbar, so you have control over which features your audience can interact with, giving you the ability to further enhance the accessibility of your digital documents.
What Can Businesses Do to Improve Content Accessibility from the Start?
Although DCatalog makes it as easy as possible to generate accessible flipbooks, the process goes far more smoothly when businesses take accessibility into account when they are creating their files initially.
Some of the simplest ways companies can enhance their assets’ accessibility include:
- Avoiding the use of images or audio exclusively to provide information: background noise to provide ambiance is fine, and photos to help set the tone of the document are encouraged, but an audio explanation of a product or a photo tutorial without captions is not widely accessible.
- Only utilizing videos that have been captioned: fortunately, captioning technology is quite advanced (and often automatic when turned on), so it’s not hard to meet this requirement.
- Minding color combinations: there are certain colors which ought to be avoided (specifically in terms of text and background) in order to comply with WCAG for colorblindness.
- Keeping text off of images: as mentioned above, text embedded in images cannot be read by screenreader software, even with offline, accessible versions of a document, so information such as captions must be kept separate from photos.
Taking small steps like these during the creation process will make it far simpler to remain compliant when businesses create their flipbooks.
DCatalog believes in providing everyone with access to quality content, which is why we’ve made it easy to ensure the accessibility of flipbooks created on our platform. Get started on creating your ADA compliant flipbook today.