How is the usability and accessibility of policies and procedures documentation improved with DITA?

In the context of government policies and procedures documentation, employing DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) can significantly enhance the usability and accessibility of content. DITA, a structured content framework, offers various tools and practices that promote a more user-friendly and accessible documentation experience.

Modular Structure

DITA encourages breaking content into smaller, reusable modules. This modular approach improves usability by allowing users to access specific sections of content relevant to their needs. It also benefits accessibility by enabling screen readers to navigate and read content more effectively.

Metadata and Tagging

DITA allows for the inclusion of metadata and semantic tagging. Metadata, such as document titles and descriptions, can enhance the discoverability and clarity of content, making it more user-friendly. Semantic tags provide valuable information for assistive technologies used by individuals with disabilities.

Consistency and Standardization

DITA enforces consistency in the structure and presentation of content. Standardized formatting and terminology improve usability by ensuring that users can predict the location of information. This consistency also benefits accessibility by making content easier for screen readers to interpret.


Here’s an example demonstrating how DITA can improve usability and accessibility:

<topic id="usability_example">
  <title>Usability and Accessibility</title>
    <description>Guidelines for Improving Usability and Accessibility</description>
    <tag type="accessibility" value="WCAG 2.0 AA compliant" />

In this example, a DITA topic addresses usability and accessibility. It includes a metadata description and semantic tags that specify compliance with accessibility standards, making the content more usable and accessible.