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Web Accessibility Guidelines

Make Web pages more accessible to people with disabilities by providing alternate and equivalent means of communicating information on Web pages.

  • Provide text equivalents for non-text elements on the page, such as images, audio, video.
  • Avoid using clickable "image maps" for site navigation.
  • Provide summaries of graphs and charts; these are hard or impossible for screen-reading equipment to process.
  • Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available in the absence of color.
  • Organize content logically and clearly; avoid using tables for layout. Use CSS instead.
  • Provide alternative content for special features (applets or plug-ins) that may not be supported.

A list of Web Accessibility Guidelines is given below.
For "How-to" advice about implementing the Accessibilitu Guidelines see the "Making it Accessible" page.


Set File Properties

  • Title
  • Author
  • Keywords (separtaed by commas)
  • Subject (short description)

Use descriptive hyperlinks

  • Link text should make sense out of context
  • Avoid "Click here" or "email me".
  • Links should be unique

Insure high contarast between foreground and background elements

  • Text easy to distinguish from background
  • PowerPoint, documents, images, etc

Do not use color as the sole means of conveying important information

  • Do not color-code content unless you use annother means of conveying important content
  • Color in itself is OK

Provide text equivalent for all non-text elements

  • Images, Charts, Graphs, Audio
  • Use ALT text to provide: accurate and succinct description of image
  • For a spacer or a decorative image use empty or null ALT text ("" "")
  • Use a clear, concise description of the image (<100 characters)
  • Some images will also require a "Long Description".
  • Word, PDF, PowerPoint, etc right click image, select Format Image, select Web tab. Don't fill entire box with text.

Ensure readability

Use semantic structure

Use Row/Column Headers for Data Tables

  • Designed to be read from left to right and from top to bottom
  • Use row and column Headers
  • Provide summary preceding table
  • Provide caption (i.e. Title)
  • Keep table design simple
  • Associate cells with proper headers

Ensure readable without CSS

  • Turn off style sheets and be sure content makes logical sense
  • Purpose of CSS: to separate content from form –not- to replace semantic structure

Provide Equivalent Alternatives for Multimedia

  • Audio only: provide text transcript
  • Video only: provide descriptive video (text file which describes what is taking place in the video)
  • Audio + Video: provide synchronized captions, text transcript and descriptive video file (unless talking head)

Create Accessible Web Content

  • Adobe PDF, Flash, Open Office, Word, PowerPoint, etc
  •  PDF documents and other non-HTML content must be as accessible as possible.
  • If you cannot make it accessible, consider using HTML instead or, at the very least, provide an accessible alternative.
  • PDF documents should also include a series of tags to make it more accessible.
  • A tagged PDF file looks the same, but it is almost always more accessible to a person using a screen reader.


Make sure content is clearly written and easy to read

  • There are many ways to make your content easier to understand.
  • Write clearly, use clear fonts, and use headings and lists appropriately.

Make JavaScript accessible

  • Ensure that JavaScript event handlers are device independent (e.g., they do not require the use of a mouse)
  • Make sure that your page does not rely on JavaScript to function.


InformationSource: UGA WEB Accessibility Group

Copyright info: GNU Free Documentation License


Page last updated: April 1, 2014