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Website Accessibility Guidelines

Top Tips To Make Your Web Pages Accessible

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires website access for users who are blind, deaf or have other special needs. User-friendly web pages benefit everyone. Here are minimum guidelines.

Reduce Clutter

Overly busy pages are difficult for anyone to read, but they can be especially confusing to someone using a screen reader.

Keep Formatting Simple

Use headings, short paragraphs and bulleted lists. Aim for brief, clear paragraphs that are organized hierarchically.

Use Alternate Text (ALT tag) Descriptions for Images and Graphics

The ALT tag is invaluable in describing the image or graphic to a text-based user.

Don’t Rely on Color for Emphasis

Visitors who are blind, low-vision or color-blind will not be able to differentiate between the content you are trying to emphasize or highlight. Visitors with low vision may also find it difficult or impossible to read content if the color doesn't have sufficient contrast with the background.

Avoid “Click Here” Links with Vague Names

Make your link text descriptive but brief and meaningful. For example, use a phrase like "Read the report on climate change," linking "report on climate change" rather than using "click here." WebAIM offers helpful advice about hypertext links.

Avoid Multiple Links in a Line

Text browsers read one line at a time and may have trouble distinguishing between consecutive links on one line.

Don’t Use Images or PDFs to Communicate Information

For maximum effectiveness and ease of use, website content should be presented as text; PDFs should be used only when the document is intended to be downloaded and printed (for example, a form that requires signatures). Images must include ALT tags to describe the content to a text-based user.

Label Forms Properly

Create a consistent, predictable format for accessible web forms. The American Foundation for the Blind offers advice on designing accessible forms.

Supply Captions and a Transcript

Offer captions and either a full transcript or a text description for all video files, and a transcript for audio files.

Use Tables Only When Necessary

Include tables when you genuinely need to present tabular data. Use header cells for the top row and left column. Be sure that textual information is displayed in a linear form across a whole line, typically on one line only. Word wrapping in tables creates problems for browsers and screen readers.