Create Accessible Websites

Mizzou adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA. The most current version is WCAG 2.1. Explore WCAG, built around four core principles, and use the following practices to get started.

Set the Default Language

Clear and Concise Content

Headings and Structure

Headings help users understand the information hierarchy to identify a page’s main points and topics quickly. Heading elements (<h1>-<h2>) allow screen reader users to navigate content more efficiently by jumping to different sections and accessing desired information quickly. Clear and descriptive headings also help with comprehension and reduce cognitive load by breaking the text into manageable sections, making scanning and locating specific information more accessible.

Accessible Links

  • Link text should make the destination of the link clear.
  • Avoid phrases like “click here,” “learn more,” and “read more.”
  • Underline links for quick identification.
  • Do not underline non-link text.
Write effective link text

Color and Contrast

Accessible Images

  • Provide alternative (alt) text on non-text content that conveys meaning, such as images.
  • Keep the alt text concise (about 125 characters).
  • Hide images from screen readers that do have meaning or are for decoration.
    • Use an empty alt value (alt=””)
    • The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative states, “Whether to treat an image as decorative or informative is a judgment only the author can make, based on the reason for including the image on the page.”
  • Avoid images with text when possible. If necessary, add alt text.
  • Try out the alt Decision Tree
  • Use the Alternative (Alt) Text Guide by The Ohio State University
Write effective alt text

Accessible Tables

  • Avoid using tables for layout.
  • Structure tables using table headers (th) and table data (td) elements.
  • Tables concepts tutorial

Accessible Audio & Video

Keyboard Accessibility

Make sure all content on the website is usable with the keyboard.

Accessibility Statements

Users of your content will usually refer to accessibility statements when they encounter problems.

  • Create an accessibility statement for your website.
  • Provide information that is useful to the users and is easy to find.
  • Use the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) tool to create an Accessibility Statement.

Check for Accessibility

As you design, develop, or create digital content, it is important to check the accessibility. For a list of commonly used checkers, guides, and checklists, visit the Check for Accessibility page.