Guide: Formatting for Accessibility

In 2016, Syndigo (through legacy company Webcollage) began updating clients’ enhanced content to align with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA standards. We have updated the user experience of our content players with the needs of people with disabilities in mind. 

To ensure the greatest consumer awareness and retail coverage for your items, it is important to consider formatting content to help shoppers with visual, hearing, motor or cognitive disabilities.


Suggestions for making your content accessible to users with disabilities

  • Minimize / eliminate text that is embedded in an image. This text cannot be read by screen readers. For text on product packaging, including this text elsewhere, such as the Product Description page (PDP).
  • Include important item information on the PDP as text. Details such as dimensions, health claims, features, ingredients and other specific attributes should be included as text.
  • Include Alt text where prompted. These short alternative descriptions (100 characters) can be included with any web image. Alt text is used to describe images for accessibility browsers with a screen reader. Adding Alt text by including a caption allows authors to keep images within a design and still provide the content in an accessible format.
  • Use descriptive text in calls to action.  “Learn More” isn’t always clear; “Learn how to care for your product” helps the reader understand the context.
  • Consider color contrast. WCAG 2.0, Level AA, requires a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text, 3:1 for large text, and at least 3:1 for graphics and user interface components. You can check your contrast here.
Syndigo’s CXH platform reminds you to include Alt Text while you’re assembling your enhanced content.
  • Videos should not include embedded text. Similar to photos, they cannot be translated by screen readers.
  • Include Closed Captions and Transcripts. Closed captions are timed transcriptions of audio files. Transcripts are a complete translation of your video’s audio into text. Transcripts differ from closed captions because they also can describe what’s going on in the video (e.g. “outside in a park”). WebVTT format is designed to provide closed captions and transcripts for video content.
Syndigo makes it easy to add .vtt files to video. The CXH platform will notify you before publishing if there is no .vtt file included with your video.
  • Ensure PDFs are accessible when they are created. Your PDF creation software can help you address accessibility issues, such as a missing document description or title. It looks for common elements that need further action, such as scanned text, form fields, tables, and images.
  • Upload your PDFs. Once your PDF is accessible, simply upload it as another one of your Enhanced Content assets. Please ensure to add a Caption (used as Alt text) for your PDF. It’s the same process as described above for Images.

Syndigo can help guide you to become WCAG-ready.

Contact our team to learn more about accessibility options for your content through CXH.

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Syndigo is the global leader for validated core and enhanced digital product content including deep nutritional data, and GDSN data across the largest network of 1,750+ retailers, distributors and trading partners, including over 12,000+ manufacturers and suppliers.