Making Downloads Accessible

You’re most likely here because you need to make sure your downloadable web content is accessible to people with disabilities.

You might have a specific problem, like:

  • what formats to offer downloads in to ensure accessibility
  • how to make sure PDF downloads are accessible
  • how to indicate a link target is a download

Perhaps you need a comprehensive list of likely issues with the accessibility of downloadable web content – and how to address them. Or maybe you just want to ask a direct question and get a clear, expert response.

You’re in the right place.

OzWiki will tell you what you need to know to make downloadable web content accessible. The Downloads section details 9 accessibility problems and how to address them, demonstrating compliance with 8 WCAG Level A success criteria, and one Level AA success criterion.

As a subscriber, you’ll also be able to request further or more detailed information relating to your specific situation.

See an example

Link text does not indicate a link target is a download

Link text does not indicate the format of the download file (PDFs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, MP3, other)

CategoryDownload Alternatives
TopicLink text
WCAG SC 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context)

The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.


See more errors for this SC



The link text does not indicate the format of the download (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, other etc).

Incorrect Example(s)

Example 1

Unordered list of download links as document names only.


Ensure all links indicate what type of download will be activated.

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OzWiki is an accessible resource that provides best known methods to achieve A & AA level design and interaction for web content in areas such as Audio, Video, Link, Captcha, Maps, Navigation and more. These outlined accessibility errors, examples and solutions help you become 508 compliant by demonstrating associated WCAG 2.0 success criteria and techniques.

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