Web and digital accessibility
Follow web accessibility guidelines in order to assure that websites are accessible
to and usable by everyone.
- Check alt text for images and other non-text content
- All images and other non-text content should have a text alternative available. To check for alt text, you can use a screen reader or other assistive technology on desktop and mobile.
- Make sure your site is keyboard-friendly
- Many people can't or choose not to use a mouse to navigate the web, and instead use a keyboard, keyboard emulator, or other alternative input device. For this reason, it's essential that every link, control, and feature that can be operated with a mouse is accessible using only a keyboard. Using common key commands, like the Tab and Shift-Tab keys, you can begin to get a sense of the accessibility condition of your website.
- Make sure Link Text is meaningful
- Screen reader users may choose to navigate the content of a page by tabbing through links and bypassing other content. It is important that each link has meaningful text describing the purpose of the link without relying on the surrounding text. While it is important to be descriptive it is also important to keep links as concise as possible. Screen readers already inform users that they have encountered a link so there is no need to include language such as “link to” or “click the link” in link text.
- Check for closed captions and transcripts on videos
- Closed captions and transcripts are vital to the accessibility of media and multimedia, like videos.
- Check color contrast
- For digital accessibility, color contrast is as critical as it is simple. Color contrast refers to the difference in light between font (or anything in the foreground) and its background. By using sufficiently-contrasting colors, a website's font visibility is stark enough to distinguish for most people. Test your site for color contrast.
- Check for logical heading structure
- Complex, inconsistent page layouts make finding information difficult. It’s important to structure any long-form website content using H1, H2 and H3 level headings. This helps to organize the content visually, but also provides important functionality for those using assistive technology. The more predictable and intuitive your content is, the more likely a user will find the information they need.
- Make sure the copy is simply written
- The average reading age in the US is 9 years old. Writing in clear, plain language is the best way to ensure your content reaches the largest number of people possible. Fewer people will be able to understand dense text filled with complex language, acronyms and jargon. Metaphors and figures of speech can also be confusing for those who cannot understand the inferred meaning. Using plain English makes your writing easier for everybody to understand.
- Make sure your site can be zoomed without loss of content or functionality
- It's a WCAG requirement that content can be zoomed to 200% and still work without assistive technology. Additionally, screen magnification should not interfere with other accessibility requirements.
- Use an accessibility checker
- There are several free online tools that will check your web pages for accessibility:
(Free checker for individual webpages not on Omni CMS)
(Free checker for content that's password protected)
If you need assistance resolving an accessibility error on your website, contact the OIT Web Services team at email@example.com
- Accessibility Fundamentals Overview | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C
- Omni CMS accessibility compliance of your website: Get started
- Digital Accessibility | OCR and ADA National Network
- National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) cheat-sheets
- WebAIM: Introduction to Web Accessibility