Making Accessible Pages

Accessibility is the responsibility of all Web practitioners. While the Office of Marketing is tasked with making the skeleton of the content management system accessible, we can't prevent site editors from making choices that ultimately make their pages harder to use for their visitors. On this page, we lay out the standards that Wright State Web pages should align to and offer additional guidance.

Standards and checklists

Accessibility notes integrated into other topics in the CMS User Guide

Additional tips

Make your pages clear, simple, and easy to understand. 

  • Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content and audience.

    "Every word and phrase should have to fight for its life. That means writing 'use' instead of 'utilize' which is identical in meaning, but has two more syllables."

    --Crawford Kilian, "Effective Web Writing," Web Techniques, Feb. 2001
  • Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate, using proper headings. For longer pages, use a "Table of Contents" where each item links to its respective heading.
  • Expand abbreviations and acronyms the first time they occur to assist with interpretation. 

    Example:
    The UTC (University Technology Committee) recently approved the University Web Policy.
  • When considering use of images, audio and video content, first ask yourself these questions:
    •  What is the purpose of this visual content?
    •  How important is the visual content to the meaning of the page/site?
    •  How can I convey the information presented in the visual or auditory content for those who aren't able to see, read or hear it?"

    If the visual content provides no clear advantage or meaning, consider omitting it. The benefit of the content or function of the image should outweigh the inconvenience of additional download time.

Use HTML tags for their intended purpose.

  • Use heading tags properly. Headings are meant to indicate the beginning of a section or subsection.
    • Don't use headings just because you want the font bigger or in a different color.
    • Don't skip headings (e.g., an <h5> should not appear directly below an <h3> without an <h4> in between)
    • If you just bold a one line paragraph, that is not a heading! Assistive software may provide a list of all headings on a page or announce them specially as they're encountered, so these users will miss out on your headings.
  • Use list tags, not bullet characters or manual numbering, to create lists. Assistive technology can announce a proper list, including how many items the list has, and provide shortcuts to navigate through that list.
  • Don't use block quotes or list tags to create indentation or margins. The <q></q> tag is used within a paragraph to quote a direct source. The <blockquote></blockquote> tag is used for a longer quote, which is "blocked" or indented from each side margin.
  • Don't underline text or headings that aren't hyperlinks. Users have learned that hyperlinks are underlined.