Web content best practices make the Web more useable for everyone. Some of these practices also improve accessibility for people with visual or dexterity impairments. Here are some basic guidelines.
- Use headers properly – Use one and only one h1 (heading 1 style) on every page and use other heading styles (h2, h3, h4, etc.) to organize the rest of the page content.
- Use alternative text (alt text) and/or photo captions to describe images. It is not necessary to add alt text for images that are merely decorative.
- Present important information as text rather than text in an image.
- Use descriptive link text instead of “click here.” The reader may be scanning the page for links without reading anything else on the page. “Click here” doesn’t provide enough context unless you also read the surrounding text.
- Write for the web – Use clear, simple language and scannable text.
- Use an online accessibility validation tool, such as WebAIM’s WAVE, also available as a toolbar extension for Chrome or Firefox.
- Use other tools to simulate what a screenreader would see or read:
- JAWSInspect shows how the JAWS screenreaders would interpret a page.
- Image Alt Text Viewer Chrome extension replaces images on a web page with their assigned alt text
If your web page includes links to PDF documents, they should be accessible also. Some of the guidelines for creating accessible web pages also apply to PDFs. Here are two resources that explain how to create accessible PDFs using either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat:
Disability Accommodation Support
The Office of Disability Accommodation Support has more information about accommodations for students with disabilities.