Accessibility for content creators

Information for users of content management systems regarding how to make content on your web site accessible.


Starting Points for Organization

First priority when organizing web content:

  • Do properly nested headings create an outline of the content?

  • Are items in a list automatically numbered or bulleted?

  • Does each data table include column headings?

More About Organization

Additional for organization, in order of priority:

  • The reading order is logical and intuitive.

  • Instructions do not rely upon shape, size, or visual location (e.g., "Instructions are in the right-hand column").

  • Instructions do not rely upon sound (e.g., "A beeping sound indicates you may continue.")

  • The web page has a descriptive and informative page title.

  • Page headings are informative. Avoid duplicating headings (e.g., "More Details") unless the structure provides adequate differentiation between them.

  • Data tables include row headings, and do not include merged cells.

  • Multiple ways are available to find other web pages on the site - at least two of: a list of related pages, table of contents, site map, site search, or list of all available web pages. (Some of these may require assistance from the webmaster.)

Optional for Organizataion

Text and Images

Starting Points for Text and Images

First priority when presenting text and images:

  • Do images have appropriate alternative text descriptions?

  • Is the meaning the same if all text is the same color, size and font?

  • Does all text have enough color contrast?

  • Is the purpose and destination of a link clear from the context?

More About Text and Images

Additional for text and images, in order of priority:

  • No page content flashes more than 3 times per second unless that flashing content is sufficiently small and the flashes are of low contrast and do not contain too much red.

  • If the same visual presentation can be made using text alone, an image is not used to present that text.

  • Links with the same text that go to different locations are readily distinguishable.

  • Emphasized or special text uses the built in features of the CMS (italics, bold, abbreviations, block quotes, for example), etc. Such text is used appropriately.

  • Equivalent alternatives to complex images are provided in context.

  • The language of page content that is in a different language is identified using the built in features of the CMS. (If you are uncertain how to do this, you could contact the webmaster for assistance.)

Optional for Text and Images


Starting Points for Audiovisual

First priority when presenting audiovisual content:

  • Does non-live audio and video content have basic transcripts?

  • Does non-live video content have captions?

More About Audiovisual

Additional for audiovisual, in order of priority:

  • No page content flashes more than 3 times per second unless that flashing content is sufficiently small and the flashes are of low contrast and do not contain too much red.
  • Embedded multimedia is identified via accessible text.

  • A descriptive text transcript OR audio description audio track is provided for non-live, web-based video.

  • Synchronized captions are provided for all live multimedia that contains audio (audio-only broadcasts, web casts, video conferences, Flash animations, etc.)

  • Audio descriptions are provided for all video content.

  • A mechanism is provided to stop, pause, mute, or adjust volume for audio that automatically plays on a page for more than 3 seconds. (If this is not the case, you could contact the webmaster for assistance.)

Optional for Audiovisual


Optional for Organization

  • If a web page is part of a sequence of pages or within a complex site structure, an indication of the current page location is provided, for example, specifying the current step in a sequence (e.g., "Step 2 of 5 - Shipping Address").

  • Beyond providing an overall document structure, individual sections of content are designated using headings, where appropriate.

Back to Organization

Optional for Text and Images

  • No page content flashes more than 3 times per second.
  • Text is used within an image only for decoration (image does not convey content) OR when the information cannot be presented with text alone.

  • The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone.

  • There are no links with the same text that go to different locations.

  • Words that may be ambiguous, unknown, or used in a very specific way are defined through adjacent text, a definition list, a glossary, or other suitable method.

  • Expansions for abbreviations are provided by expanding or explaining the definition the first time it appears by using the built in features of the CMS, or by linking to a definition or glossary. NOTE: There is no exception for regularly understood abbreviations (e.g., "HTML" on a web design site must always be expanded the first time it is used).

  • If the pronunciation of a word is vital to understanding that word, its pronunciation is provided immediately following the word or via a link or glossary.
  • A more understandable alternative is provided for content that is more advanced than can be reasonably read by a person with roughly 9 years of primary education.

Back to Text and Images

Optional for Audiovisual

  • A descriptive text transcript is provided for all pre-recorded media that has a video track.

  • Audio of speech has no or very low background noise so the speech is easily distinguished.

  • No page content flashes more than 3 times per second.

  • A sign language video is provided for all media content that contains audio.

  • When an audio description track cannot be added to video due to audio timing (e.g., no pauses in the audio), an alternative version of the video with pauses that allow audio descriptions is provided.

  • A descriptive text transcript (e.g., the script of the live audio) is provided for all live content that has audio.

Back to Audiovisual

Keywords:web, accessibility, accessibility standards, Section 508, WCAG 2.0   Doc ID:50808
Owner:Sandi A.Group:Accessibility
Created:2015-04-23 14:02 CSTUpdated:2019-07-30 15:54 CST
Sites:Accessibility, DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  7   1