PIF’s Health and Digital Literacy Survey report, published in October 2020, made 10 recommendations to help overcome the health and digital literacy challenges faced by the UK population.

A central recommendation was to ensure health websites meet WCAG 2.1 global accessibility guidelines from the World Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

This guide includes:

  • Information on World Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.1 and UK legislation
  • Tips to help you meet WCAG 2.1
  • How to ensure your information is easy to read and health literate
  • Case studies
  • Useful websites
  • A glossary of terms

Why accessibility matters

For public sector bodies meeting the Accessible Information Standard is a requirement, for all others it is good practice. 

Accessibility is also built into PIF’s criteria for the PIF TICK quality mark for health information.

The rapid switch to digital health information during the pandemic has made the need to improve the accessibility of websites more pressing. 

PIF members asked for a simple guide to accessibility at the Health Information Challenges and Solutions Workshop held in March 2021.

PIF’s long standing partner, Texthelp, is an accessibility specialist. The team helped us produce this guide, which has been reviewed by our Advisory Group.


This guide supports the following PIF TICK criteria:

  • 6.0 Health inequalities: Information is written to meet health and digital literacy, language and accessibility needs of the target audience.
  • 7.0 Content and design: Information is clearly communicated, easy to access and navigate.

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