Alternative Text (Alt Text): simply defined is alternative information. Its purpose is to provide a text equivalent
of an image in the event that the image does not load or cannot be viewed. Alt text
is an important way to ensure that every visitor to your site can access all of the
sites content. Every image on your site should include an alternative text description
which briefly details the purpose of the image.
Don't just describe the image, describe the image's function (Why is that image present?
What information are you using the image to convey?)
Take advantage of alt text to help search engines index your site. Use keywords that
are important to your mission as part of the description of your images
Graphical bullets or images that do not impart information do not require alt text
Working with Multimedia:
Websites are increasingly becoming rich experiences that rely heavily on audio and
video components to fulfill a prominent role. It is imperative that any information
you impart in one of these formats should also be presented in an accessible way.
Include links transcripts for any audio or podcast on your site.
Video presentations should include a link to a transcript or more ideally be authored
to include subtitles
Working with Links:
When creating links on your website, be sure that the link text provides a clear
description of the link's destination. Visitors to your site using assistive technology
often scan a page for links to quickly navigate to their desired destination. If
every link is non-descriptive text like "Click Here" you will create an undue impediment
for your audience. Instead of "Click Here" a better example for a would be "Download
the Web Accessibility Tip Sheet"
Use descriptive links that helps the visitor identify the purpose of the link
Slightly longer link text allows for a larger click area making it easier for people
with motor impairments to click you links.
Working with Color and Contrast:
In addition to blindness, colorblindness and low vision also require considerations
when designing your site. To help insure that your site is readable and understandable
to visitors with make sure that your text is presented with a clean background with
sharp contrast between the two and that you use other markers beside color to convey
Tips (Low Vision):
Avoid shades of color on themselves like a dark gray on a light gray background
Avoid patterned backgrounds
Avoid graphical text when possible
Use simple readable fonts
Do not use color alone to convey content use additional cues or information to convey
Working with Tables:
Data tables on web pages present a host of accessibility concerns. Data tables should
be used to logically order information that is best presented in a chart or table
structure and should not be used to format a page. For example, you should not use
a table to create columns for the body content of a page.
Failure to provide adequate context can make information meaningless (Use summary,
caption and headings)
Improperly designed tables do not render information correctly when using screen
reader (remember that screen readers linearize tables and read top to bottom, left
Using absolute values in table dimensions can make scrolling difficult for users
with mobility impairments