How to Make Websites Accessible

Accessibility Practices

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.

  • Provide link text that describes where the link goes and gives meaning out of context.
    • 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

  • 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

  • Avoid using tables for layout.
  • Structure tables using table headers (th) and table data (td) elements.
  • Tables concepts tutorial
Create an accessibility statement for your website. Users of your content will usually refer to accessibility statements when they encounter problems. 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, always check accessibility.