Web Accessibility Resources

What is Accessibility? Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliant? Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)? Section 508? Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)? The W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) claim: "Strategies, standards, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities" defines it best. With this in mind, WAI have defined guidelines and four principles for Success Criteria when adopting web accessibility: P O U R: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.

See Understanding Four Principles of Accessibility for specifics.

Top 5 Most Important Accessibility Elements to Meet and Improve Success Criteria

Accessibility is a process, not a project. Think of it as progress!

In order of importance, the most important elements to examine for your web page are:

  1. Page Title - A web page title tag is the most important element with regards to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Accessibility, rankings, and more.
  2. Add Skip-to-Content links - A skip to content feature is most desirable with ease and use with users who prefer to navigate the web using their Tab key. The skip-to-content feature skips most duplicated content of a site giving a user the ability to go direction to the main content of a web page.
  3. Headings 1-6 - Using header tags, h1, h2, h3, etc... offers another route to navigating a web page. It is also the foundations of writing good content; basics of outlining, documentation basics, etc.
  4. Make links clearly distinguishable - inform your web clients where a link is going and what the referral link is going to do. Don’t use URLs when used in content.
  5. All graphics require alt - be clear and concise when describing a graphic. If decorative, you can use empty “” alt tag value; screen readers will ignore the alt. Don’t prefix graphic descriptions like “picture of…", photo of…", "image of…,”, etc. Screen readers automatically inform user it is a graphic.

University Accessibility Web Initiatives

Many areas throughout The UofM community gearing up for Accessibility include the Office of Institutional Equity's ADA and Accessibility for a great overview of Accessibility and ADA compliance information. Our online course tool eLearn provides assistance when meeting web content accessibility standards for online classes administered through eLearn.

For the technology focused audience, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides a general Top Ten Accessibility Points when providing accessibility features to enhance your clients.

Web Accessibility Resources

WebDev Web Accessibility / Usability resources listed below should help answer these questions and more.