Accessibility standards for content

All content on must meet WCAG 2.1. Find out how to make your content accessible, and what happens when it isn't.

Web content can be difficult for users with a disability to navigate and process. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requires agencies to ensure people with disability have the same access to information and services as others in the community.

On this page:

Webpages (HMTL) should be the default for all government information

  • It's a better experience for users: they won't need to jump between website content and PDFs/Word documents to understand content.

  • Most people prefer to read web pages and avoid PDFs.

  • HTML pages receive more traffic and offer a better user experience.

If you have to include a PDF or Word document, you also need a HTML version to meet accessibility.

The following content types must be created as web pages (HTML):

Accessibility exceptions

The exceptions to our HTML-first requirement are PDFs that were specifically designed for print or design work, including:

  • promotional posters

  • activity sheets

  • technical drawings

These PDFs must still be fully accessible.

Where activity sheets or templates require the user to fill in extra information on a computer, use a Word document.

If the audience is a niche audience and user interviews indicate that print documents are preferred, an exception can be applied for with your central digital team. Content for the general public must always be published as HTML.

Accessibility checklist

Heading styles

Have headings been applied correctly to your content? Heading 1 is your page title. Always start with Heading 2 in the content. Then use Heading 3 for sub-groupings under Heading 2.



The alt text should state the organisation’s name and doesn't need to include the word ‘logo.' You don’t need to describe the logo.

Text images

The alt text should include all the text displayed within the image.

Complex images (graphs, flowcharts and maps)

If you’re planning to embed a graph, flowchart or map, you must accompany it with one of the following:

  • text description in content below the image

  • accessible data table

  • description on another webpage and state in the alt text ‘Visit [page url] for an accessible version of this graph.’


Tables must have:

  • HTML mark-up to indicate header and data cells and their relationship. This should be automatically applied when building your table using the Basic text editor.

  • A title, caption and summary.

Avoid merging cells or using multi-level headers - screen readers won’t be able to read the contents correctly. Break the table into smaller tables if this is necessary.

Tables with lots of columns

Use the Data table component. You can upload data as a CSV file, which then gets turned into a HTML table. The table will be displayed correctly on smaller screens with a horizontal scrollbar on the bottom.

Audio and video content

Requires a text alternative, except for time-based media (for example, live stream).

An alternative format must be available and contain the same information for pre-recorded audio and video. This can include captions, a transcript, and audio description.

Vic Gov approved hosting platforms include YouTube, Vimeo and Videostream.

What happens if my content is not accessible?

When content does not meet accessibility requirements, we follow the Accessibility failures process.

Accessibility resources