3.3 What data formats are used on your site?

Not all of the content on a website is supplied in a native web format such as HTML, XHTML and XML. If the content is posted in formats such as word processing files, digital slide presentations, or other digital formats, then it will have to be made accessible.

One common myth about web accessibility is that HTML is the only accessible format. Ten years ago that was much truer than it is now. The first international web standard, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 concentrated exclusively on how to make HTML content accessible, because at the time, it was, more or less, the only web format that could be made fully accessible. That situation has changed significantly over the past few years. Many modern authoring tools support almost full accessibility. Further, these new tools increasingly include built-in accessibility checking features that allow the documents' creators to fix accessibility failures before publishing.

If the organization is using digital formats you will need to apply the same principles and success criteria identified in the WCAG guidelines to each document — where applicable. The Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) project can provide you with the information and instructions needed to create accessible digital contents. Refer also to Section 6.0 — Resources.