How to Make an Accessible Website

Accessibility Principles

MU has adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA, which defines four principles of accessibility for web content called POUR. Apply the following accessibility principles to make websites more accessible and improve the usability for all users.

Set Default Language
Make Content Easy to Understand
Apply Structure
Create Accessible Links
  • 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
Use Color Appropriately
Add Alternative Text
  • Provide alternative (alt) text to images that convey meaning.
  • Keep the alt text short and concise (about 125 characters).
  • Hide images that do not convey meaning from screen readers.
    • Use an empty alt value (alt="")
  • Avoid images with text when possible. If necessary, add alt text.
Write effective alternative text
Create Accessible Tables
  • Avoid using tables for layout.
  • Structure tables using table headers (th) and table data (td) elements.
  • Tables concepts tutorial
Make Media Accessible

If the website has embedded audio or videos, they must be accessible.

Ensure Keyboard-Only Functionality

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

Develop an Accessibility Statement

Consider creating an accessibility statement for your own website, mobile application, or other digital content. Users of your content will usually refer to accessibility statements when they encounter problems. Provide information that is useful to the users and in a place that is easy to find.

Check Accessibility


Accessibility checkers review some accessibility guidelines and provide useful information.

Visit Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools for a complete list of checkers. For info on how to check electronic documents, visit How to Make Your Content Accessible.

Screen Readers

Automated tools cannot verify all issues and should be combined with manual testing. Testing with a commonly used screen reader can also help you identify problems.

Learn more about Screen Reader Keyboard Shortcuts and Gestures.