These resources cover the basics of accessibility on the web - why it's important and what it looks like in action.
- Diversity in Web Use: User Stories and Technologies
- Understanding the Four A11y Principles
- User Story: Marie Franc Bru
Laws and Regulations
Sections 508 and 504 are key components of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 defines accessibility standards for digital content, including websites, software and PDFs. In January 18, 2018, Section 508 was updated to align with the WCAG 2.0 international standard. Section 504 protects the rights of people with disabilities in any program that receives federal funding.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act extends Section 504 to any public school, regardless if they receive Federal financial assistance. In recent court cases, there has been an uptick in private companies and organizations receiving web accessibility complaints under Title III of the ADA.
- Section 508 Checklist
- Resolution Agreement Outcomes
- Resolution Agreements List
- Section 508 Laws and Policies
- Section 504
- ADA Title II
- ADA Title III
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (currently in their second edition) are compiled by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - the same global body which defines standards for HTML, CSS, and other foundational web technologies. The WCAG spells out the correct ways to implement accessibility criteria.
A website's Accessibility Statement is a textual description of any accessibility criteria or features that website has implemented.
Assistive technology is any type of software or device that helps an end user access your content. The most common assistive technology that we should all be aware of are screen readers.
- Assistive Technology
- Testing for Accessibility
- What is JAWS?
- Learn how to surf the internet with JAWS
Evaluation tools can be used to test your site pages, one by one, for accessibility barriers. The following is a list of resources about common, free evaluation tools and more information about testing. Remember, evaluation tools are known to only catch between 10%-30% of accessibility issues found on a page. The remaining errors are found with human judgement and manual assistive technology testing.
- WAVE (website)
- WAVE (Chrome Extension)
- SiteImprove (Chrome Extension)
- Lighthouse Audit (Chrome Developer Tools)
- aXe (Chrome Extension for Developer Tools)
- More about aXe Deque
These resources describe how to best add alternative text to visual media.
- Alt Decision Tree
- W3 Example of Good / Bad Alt Text
- Alternative Text Overview
- Training on how to write effective alternative text
- Adding Alt text to Tweets
The text of a link has special consideration in the context of accessibility - learn about what makes some links more accessible than others.
Logical Page Structure
HTML heading elements are a key component of constructing an accessible website.
Color Contrast Ratio
Some visual impairments make certain colors or color combinations difficult to perceive; there's guidance available on how to implement color schemes that are both attractive and effective.
- Color Contrast Checker (WebAIM)
- WCAG 2.0 Contrast Guidelines
- Contrast Ratio for Text
- Contrast Ratio Check for Text on Images
Accessible PDF Resources
PDFs are everywhere, but they present some very specific accessibility challenges. These resources can help you deploy PDFs in ways that will not work against your accessibility goals.
- Accessible PDFs in Word
- Example of Transferring PDFs to HTML Web Page (using Accordions)
- Example of Transferring PDFs to HTML Web Page (using Posts)
- WCAG 2.0 PDF Guidelines
- Health and Human Services 508 Checklist
- PDF Checker (Mac)
- PAC 2 (Windows)
- Adobe Accessible PDF
- AudioEye PDF Webinar
- Taming the PDF Madness- PDF Accessibility and PDF Alternatives
Accessibility information specific to online forms.
Videos are web content and are also subject to accessibility criteria, particularly regarding captions. Learn about how text captions can be added even to existing videos.
- W3C Summary
- WebAIM Video Summary
- Closed Captions, Transcripts and Audio Descriptions from 3PlayMedia
- Understanding Time-Based Media
Quick References for Content Creators
Accessibility is a vast topic with plenty of details to keep track of! Use these resources to stay on top of what's important in presenting text effectively to all readers.