How does DITA comply with accessibility standards like WCAG?

DITA, as an XML-based content standard, provides a foundation for creating accessible content that can comply with accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). DITA’s compliance with accessibility standards is achieved through best practices and guidelines followed during the content creation and publishing process. While DITA itself does not guarantee accessibility, it provides a structured framework that enables content creators to build accessible content.

Key aspects of how DITA can build accessible content include semantics, alternative text, accessibility attributes, table accessibility, consistent structuring, and testing and validation.


DITA encourages the use of semantic elements to represent the structure and meaning of content. For example, using <p> elements for paragraphs, <h1> to <h6> for headings, and specific DITA elements like <ul> and <ol> for lists.

Alternative Text:

When including images or multimedia content in DITA, authors can add alternative text (alt text) to describe the content. This is crucial for screen readers and other assistive technologies to convey the information to users with disabilities.

Accessibility Attributes:

DITA allows content creators to include accessibility attributes such as aria-label or aria-describedby to enhance the accessibility of content, especially interactive elements.

Table Accessibility:

DITA provides structure for creating accessible tables, including support for defining headers and captions. This ensures that tables are well-organized and understandable for all users.

Consistent Structure:

DITA’s structured content and separation of content from presentation facilitate the production of accessible content. This structure supports the use of CSS and other styling techniques to ensure proper presentation.

Testing and Validation:

Authors and organizations using DITA can implement accessibility testing and validation tools to identify and address issues in their content, ensuring it complies with standards like WCAG.


A DITA topic contains an image, with alternative text included for accessibility. In this case, the alt attribute is used to describe the image:

          <image href="image.jpg" alt="A person using a screen reader with headphones"/>

In this example, the alt attribute provides a text alternative to the image, making it accessible to users who rely on screen readers. This is a fundamental practice in compliance with accessibility standards like WCAG.

It’s important to note that while DITA provides the structure and tools to create accessible content, the responsibility for ensuring compliance ultimately rests with the content creators and organizations.