Accessible publications

Government organisations may need to produce certain publications in languages other than English. In the case of a publication that affects people in Wales, you may need to produce a Welsh language version.

Government organisations are bound by the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that their services and products, including publications, are accessible to disabled people.

Accessibility is even more important if a document contains policy proposals that may affect the services delivered to disabled people. All PDFs published on government websites need to meet accessibility requirements. This includes PDFs of Command and House of Commons Papers. The Government Digital Service has published details of the standards required of government PDFs.

It is best practice also to publish online versions of these papers in Rich Text Format (RTF), which can be read by all types of screen reading software. Some older versions of screen reading software have difficulties in reading PDFs clearly, including accessible PDFs.

Government organisations should also consider alternative methods of distributing information to people with disabilities, such as:

  • Easy Read versions of publications
  • large print
  • Braille – The National Archives publishing contracts provide for Braille versions of documents to be produced as required, contact the publishing contractor for further information
  • videos using British Sign Language
  • audio versions of documents, for example cassette/CD/MP3

Further sources of information: