What considerations should be made for multimedia accessibility in DITA?

Multimedia accessibility in DITA is essential for ensuring that all users, including those with disabilities, can access and understand multimedia content.

Multimedia content includes images, videos, audio, and other non-text elements. To make DITA outputs accessible, the needs of users with disabilities, such as those who are blind, deaf, or have cognitive impairments, must be considered.

Considerations for multimedia accessibility in DITA include alternative text, transcripts and captions, audio descriptions, accessible player controls, providing options, and compliance with standards.

Alternative Text (Alt Text):

Providing alternative text for images to describe their content and purpose. This text is read aloud by screen readers, enabling users to understand the image’s meaning.

Transcripts and Captions:

Including transcripts for audio content and captions or subtitles for videos to provide textual representations of spoken content.

Audio Descriptions:

Adding audio descriptions to videos to narrate the visual content for users who are blind or visually impaired.

Accessible Player Controls:

Ensuring that multimedia players have accessible controls, such as keyboard navigation support and compatibility with screen readers.

Providing Options:

Offering options to enable or disable autoplay for multimedia elements, as autoplay can be distracting for some users.

Compliance with Standards:

Ensuring multimedia content adheres to accessibility standards like WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).


A DITA-based user guide for a photography software application includes a section on how to edit photos. The guide has several images demonstrating the photo editing process.

  • Each image is provided with alt text describing the specific editing action or result.
  • The guide includes a link to a transcript or textual description of the video tutorial on advanced editing techniques.
  • Videos demonstrating complex editing processes have audio descriptions narrating the actions performed in the video.
  • The video player allows keyboard navigation and provides controls that are screen reader compatible.
  • Users can choose to turn off autoplay for video tutorials, giving them control over the content’s behavior.