ClickHelp Technical Writing Blog
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Importance of Accessibility in Technical Writing

Posted by
Anastasia in Technical Writing on 3/12/20193 min read

Team members discuss something

It is very important to make user manuals accessible to as many people as possible. Technical documentation is something we refer to pretty often in our daily lives because of all the technology around us. So, comfortable living implies being able to get access to user manuals and be able to read them. And, we believe that help authoring tools should be accessible, as well as documentation itself, so technical writers and readers with various disabilities such as vision impairment deserve a convenient and user-friendly environment.

To improve the lives of those living with disabilities, different standards were created. Let’s take a look at one of the main accessibility standards for modern technologies.

Section 508

Laptop and glasses

There are special accessibility standards one can use to make sure that a product is considered accessible. Of course, it is totally fine to make further adjustments for a product to be used by even more people with special needs, but, we are a hundred percent positive that meeting certain basic standards is absolutely necessary.

In 1998, Section 508 became part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The idea behind Section 508 is ensuring that the Internet and electronic technology used by Federal agencies are adapted for use by people with disabilities. All federal agencies are affected by these standards including their partners and contractors operating both in the USA and abroad. Several laws support Section 508 such as the law against discrimination of people with disabilities, laws requiring telecommunications products and communications services to be accessible to such people.

Accessibility of ClickHelp

Checklist and pen

ClickHelp is compliant with most modern accessibility requirements. We test each tool version before its release to see where we are in terms of standards. We've put a lot of effort to create an accessible reader interface, and we will keep improving it.

It is worth mentioning here that thanks to all customization possibilities of our online documentation tool, creating accessible documentation for readers is very easy, too. ClickHelp was designed with the idea of a single source for creating different docs in mind. So, technical writers working with our tool can end up with as many versions of their user manuals as they want.

The single-sourcing techniques allow applying different style files to the same material and creating unique outputs. This is a great way of developing more accessible versions of your documentation.

Conclusion

We are trying to bring awareness to the problem of inclusivity in technical writing in this blog, and we are glad to say that a lot of progress has been made. But, it is important for us not just to talk the talk, but walk the walk, as well. ClickHelp is constantly becoming more accessible and user-friendly with each product version.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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