It is important to make sure that your documents are accessible to as many people as possible. For FHWA and other publications funded through the U.S.Government, Section 508 compliance is required. In addition, there are an increasing number of lawsuits being filed against entities that post documents that are not accessible.Please write reports and other research documentation with accessibility in mind. For tutorials, checklists, and guidelines, see see https://www.section508.gov/content/build/create-accessible-documents.
Excerpt from Texas Department of Information Resources https://dir.texas.gov/electronic-information-resources-eir-accessibility/eir-accessibility-roles-responsibilities/eir :
|"Print to PDF" will strip out all accessibility tags previously added in MS Office applications|
|. Instead, use "Export" or "Save As PDF" when converting your document.|
- Use the accessibility tools built into MS Office and other products that you use to create documents. Checklists: https://webaim.org/resources/evaloffice/
- Non-text content (images and equations) must include alt text that screen readers can use to describe the content.
- Screenshot and re-insert charts, graphs, and graphics designed using Smart Art so that alt-text can be added to describe the image as a whole instead of individual components
- Color contrast between background and text must be compliant to WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards, at a minimum. See A11y Color Palette, WebAIM Contrast Checker, Paciello Group's Colour Contrast Analyser.
Bar Charts and color
Even if you are color-coding charts, make sure values or labels are included with each bar for screen readers. If the color differences are significant to understanding the chart, make sure that they have sufficient color contrast and difference in darkness for a colorblind user to interpret.
Example 1. The below bar chart includes labels on each bar. Color contrast needs to be checked to make sure that there is enough contrast between the white text (foreground) and the red, orange, blue, and gray bars (background). In addition, if the bar colors are significant and correspond with a key, then the contrast between each bar color also needs to be checked.
To check the foreground (text) against the background (bar), check the color codes on WebAIM's Contrast Checker or other tool.
Tip title TIP
To test color contrast, you need the exact value for each color used. If testing colors that are on a website, try a color picker browser add-on to find this value. For desktop applications, free software such as Paciello Group's free Colour Contrast Analyser may help.