Making Your Website Accessible

Web accessibility is a big topic with a lot of information. Depending on your job, some information will be more important for you to learn. Use the guidelines below to help you focus on the information that’s most important to your role. If more than one role applies to your position, as it often does, review the information recommended for each role that applies.

I’m a Web Designer

Web designers come up with the look and feel of the website by defining colors, typography, graphics, layout, etc.

What you need to know:

  1. Introduction to Web Accessibility
  2. Designing an Accessible Website

I’m a Web Developer

Web developers use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, ASP.NET, etc. to build web pages and/or web applications.

What you need to know:

  1. Introduction to Web Accessibility
  2. Developing an Accessible Website
  3. Adding Accessible Content to a Website

I’m a Contributor

Contributors write text, produce images, create videos, etc. that are published on the website. Sometimes contributors use a Content Management System (CMS) (e.g., Cascade, Wordpress, Drupal) to add content to their department’s website.

What you need to know:

  1. Introduction to Web Accessibility
  2. Adding Accessible Content to a Website

I’m a Manager

In this context, managers oversee the people and processes responsible for a website.

What you need to know:

  1. Introduction to Web Accessibility
  2. Ensure your employees have the knowledge, skills, and support to create and maintain accessible websites.
  3. Ensure your processes for creating and maintaining web content include consideration for web accessibility.

List of All Articles

  1. Introduction to Web Accessibility
  2. Designing an Accessible Website
  3. Developing an Accessible Website
  4. Adding Accessible Content to a Website

Did you know?

  • In the United States, about 55 million people have a disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
  • About 1 in 5 Americans have some kind of disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
  • The percentage of people affected by disabilities is growing as our population ages.
  • Two popular, free screen readers are VoiceOver (Mac OS and iOS) and NVDA (Win).
  • Good accessibility practices can improve the search ranking of your website.
  • Form fields without labels can cause problems for some assistive technology users.
  • Low color contrast makes content difficult to see, especially for users with low vision.
  • Documents linked on a website need to be accessible too (e.g., PDF and Word files).
  • Audio content, like podcasts, need transcripts for deaf or hard of hearing users.
  • Online videos should be captioned for deaf or hard of hearing users.
  • Using HTML tags correctly is very important for accessibility.
  • Descriptive link text helps make a website more accessible. Avoid using "Click here" or "Read more."
  • A "screen reader" is an application that reads content aloud to a user.
  • There is no "alt tag" in HTML. "Alt" is an attribute used with the img tag.
  • HTML uses the alt attribute to provide a text description of an image.
  • Alt text should describe an image, if the purpose of the image is to convey information.
  • If an image is a link, the alt text for the image should explain where the link goes.
  • If an image is only being used for decoration, the alt text should be null (i.e., alt="").
  • If a table has headers, using header tags (<th>) will make the table more accessible.
  • An accessible website is one that can be navigated and understood by everyone.