By law, all new local authority websites must meet specific accessibility standards.

Our website provider will help with the technical aspects. We must ensure that our content complies too.

Read more about accessibility standards on

The digital engagement team can advise you on the best way to deliver your content to reach the desired audience, and meet accessibility requirements. 


All documents must comply with the new accessibility standards. They must be usable by as many people as possible. This includes those with disabilities.

If a document does not meet these standards, we could be breaking the law.

Wherever possible, publish documents as an HTML webpage, rather than as a PDF. It’s the best way to reach as many people as possible.

PDFs make our content harder to find, use and maintain.

Read the Government Digital Service (GDS) blog - Why content should be published in HTML and not PDF.

When PDFs should be used

Only use PDFs when it is not practical to add as HTML (for example, complex strategies). However, they must still be formatted to meet accessibility standards.   

Read more about how to create accessible PDFs on and how to write accessible documents to publish as a PDF.

They must not duplicate content already on the website (for example, a flyer about how to apply for free school meals).

Open data

Avoid publishing statistical tables or datasets within a PDF.

For these, use an open format such as .ods or .csv. Do not use the .xls format as it requires Microsoft Excel to open it. Not everyone has this software.

Read more about open formats on