Web accessibility is the practice of making websites inclusive and usable by everyone, ensuring that all users have equal access to information and functionality.
Starting your work with accessibility in mind gives you the best chance of success. Although it's possible to retrofit a site to accommodate users with disabilities, it's much easier and less costly to build in accessibility from the start.
Add Alternative Text to Images
Alternative text is presented to blind screen reader users in place of images they cannot see. Every image that conveys content or has a function on your website should be given alternative text.
Identify Required Form Fields
If your form has a mix of required and non-required fields, add the aria-required="true" attribute to each input that is required. This will identify them as required to users with screen reader users.
Make Your Page Title an <h1>
Your page title (not to be confused with the <title> element, though this should be brief and descriptive of the page content) is typically the big, bold text at the start of your page that describes the content or functionality of that page. While a good heading structure for your entire document is great for accessibility, simply making your main page title an <h1> will facilitate page navigation and comprehension.
Avoid "Click Here"
Eradicate ambigous link text such as "click here" and "learn more." In addition to being particularly difficult for screen reader users, these phrases add unnecessary text. Link text should be specific, clear, and ideally should match the title of the page to which you're linking. In other words, a user should be able to understand the phrase out of context. The following are examples of good link text:
- Majors and Minors in the College
- Campus Life at the University of Chicago
- UChicago Campus Life
- Read more about the College
Check Your Page in WAVE
The easy-to-use WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool provides you with feedback on your page's accessibility. Simply go to http://wave.webaim.org, enter your URL, and click the button to get feedback.
- WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) is an excellent source for information, training, resources, guidelines, and standards for web accessibility and disability access to the Web, including an introduction to Accessibility Evaluation Tools.
- The Six Simplest Web Accessibility Tests Anyone Can Do will help you understand how your website performs for people with disabilities.
- Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility helps you perform a lightweight, easy assessment of a web page's accessibility.
- WCAG 2.0 Checklist contains guidelines, success criteria, and recommended techniques.
Learn More About Web Accessibility
- Web Accessibility at UChicago
- Principles of Web Accessibility: Quick Reference
- How People with Disabilities Use the Web
- A Personal Look at Accessibility in Higher Education (video)
- Experiences of Students with Disabilities (video)
Web Accessibility Services We Offer
We've got great expertise on our staff and are happy to conduct web accessibility assessments.