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Documentation, training materials and support materials such as online help, should be provided in accessible formats. Where possible, the standard format should be accessible to users who are mildly impaired. Where this is not possible, and for users who are severely impaired, an alternative format that does not require vision, hearing or dexterity should be made available and it should provide the same information. Similar guidelines are:

  • 1.11 Provide descriptions and instructions for all accessibility features

Rationale

Documentation, training and support materials are an essential part of any but the simplest applications. Often, it is the lack of access to training and support that prevents users taking advantage of the application's functionality. People with impairments that prevent them from perceiving all of the information in the interface may have a greater need for training and support than other users.

Directions and Techniques

Check the materials against the application software accessibility guidelines

Most of the criteria that documentation, training and support materials should adhere to are the expressed in these application software accessibility guidelines.

Provide online text-based materials

This is often the most accessible format. Any user who can access the application itself should be able to access material in this format.

If providing paper documentation, avoid light colours and use a "lie flat" binding

Light colours may not be reproduced well by photocopiers, which users with impaired vision may use to make a "large print" copy of the documentation. The binding should allow it to lie flat while it is open.

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Test with real users

Documentation, training and support materials are an essential part of the application and should be user tested in the same way. Run tests in which users have to use the training materials to learn to use the application and refer to the documentation and support materials during use to help them carry out tasks.
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