Making it Accessible (on the web)
1. Provide descriptive hyperlinks
2. Provide text equivalents
3. Choose colors carefully
4. Ensure readability of content
5. Use semantic markup properly
6. Use headers for data tables
7. Provide equivalent alternatives for multimedia
8. Create accessible web content
9. Web accessibility evaluation tools
10. Accessibility Cheatsheets
On this page, you will find links to in-depth and step-by-step instructions, video and articles about how to make web pages and sites accessible.
Hypertext links are one of the most basic elements of HTML, as its name implies (HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language). As such, making hypertext links accessible is one of the most basic and most important aspects of web accessibility.
- Links and hypertext (WebAIM)
Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The web is replete with images that have missing, incorrect, or poor alternative text. Like many things in web accessibility, determining appropriate, equivalent, alternative text is often a matter of personal interpretation. Through the use of examples, this article will present our experienced interpretation of appropriate use of alternative text.
- Appropriate Use of Alternative Text (WebAIM)
- Add alternative text to a shape, picture, chart, table in an Office document (step-by-step how to)
Simply select or enter a foreground and background color in RGB hexadecimal format (e.g., #fd3 or #f7da39). Select the lighten and darken options to modify the colors slightly. You can use the color picker to change colors or change luminosity.
Choose foreground (text) and background colors carefully. If the two colors are too close to the same hue, they may not provide sufficient contrast for some visitors, including those who are colorblind or suffer from low vision.
Choose a font family that is easy to read by all users. Just because it looks cool isn't a good reason to use it – especially if it is going to be hard for users to read. Also, always list more than one font to ensure at least one other font will be used – not just the default.
Write Clearly and Simply
"The task of writing clearly and simply has never been either clear or simple. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult of all writing tasks. Clear and simple writing is an art to which many aspire and few achieve. Even so, the understandability of web content depends upon clear and simple writing. Unclear or confusing writing is an accessibility barrier to all readers, but can be especially difficult for people with reading disorders or cognitive disabilities."
- Writing Clearly and Simply (WebAIM)
Typography and Fonts
Write for the Medium
Jakob Nielsen, formost web usability and accessibility researcher, offers seven suggestions:
- bulleted lists
- highlighted keywords
- short paragraphs
- the inverted pyramid
- a simple writing style, and
- de-fluffed language devoid of marketese" (The Top 10 Mistakes of Web Design)
Using headings for content structure. Using headings and lists correctly.
- Creating Semantic Structure (WebAIM)
- Creating Accessible Tables (WebAIM)
- Web Captioning Overview (WebAIM)
Office 2010 Accessibility Checker.
Microsoft Office 2010 has built-in accessibility checkers. All you have to do in any Microsoft Office 2010 software is go to the File tab, choose the Info menu item (if it isn't selected already), and then click the "Check for Issues" button and choose "Check Accessibility" from the drop down menu.
Before you read about creating accessible PDF documents, you should consider the disadvantages of the format, explained by Jakob Nielsn in his list of the Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design. Nielsen writes:
"Users hate coming across a PDF file while browsing, because it breaks their flow. Even simple things like printing or saving documents are difficult because standard browser commands don't work. Layouts are often optimized for a sheet of paper, which rarely matches the size of the user's browser window. Bye-bye smooth scrolling. Hello tiny fonts.
Creating accessible PDFs in Word 2010
After you have created a Word document, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:
1. Click the "File" tab, and then click "Save As."
2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the "Save As Type" list, and then click PDF.
3. Click "Options."
4. make sure that the "Document tags for accessibility" check box is selected, and then click "OK."
5. Click "Save."
Creating Accessible PDFs from Word 2007 and 2013
For instructions for creating accessible PDFs in Word 2007 and 2013,
- See Create Accessible PDFs article.
"Flash designs are easier for users with disabilities to use when designers combine visual and textual presentations, minimize incessant movement, decrease spacing between related objects, and simplify features." (Nielsen)
"Despite the ability of Flash to create highly accessible content, there are some major issues you must be aware of regarding Flash and accessibility. Nearly all of the concepts that affect HTML accessibility can also apply to Flash. These include using plenty of contrast, consistent navigation, understandable language, etc." (WebAIM)
- Creating Accessible Flash Content (WebAIM)
WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page.
- Download WAVE accessibility evaluation tool.
Source & Copyright: WebAIM
A series of informative accessibility pamphlets, or “cheatsheets,” have been developed to assist anyone who is creating accessible content. These resources are catered to less-technical individuals, such as faculty and staff, and are available to all.
- Accessibility Cheatsheets (link to NCDAE site)
1. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint 2007/2010
2. Converting to PDFs from: Word and PowerPoint 2007/2010
3. Captioning YouTube videos