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II. Cross-Cutting Strategies. A Web Accessibility Primer: Usability for Everyone Office of Web Communications. Provide Labels and Structure. An organized, outline presentation makes content more accessible to everyone.

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II. Cross-Cutting Strategies

A Web Accessibility Primer: Usability for Everyone Office of Web Communications

provide labels and structure
Provide Labels and Structure
  • An organized, outline presentation makes content more accessible to everyone.
  • Use real heading and bullet list formats so machines (screen readers) can recognize them.
color use
Color Use
  • Don’t use color alone to convey info.

Cornell’s policy not Cornell’s policy

  • Use high contrast colors.
  • Spell out acronyms in their first use.
  • Even common acronyms (e.g., CEO) should be spelled out.
  • Screen readers will pronounce acronyms as words if there are enough vowels.
  • Link names should make sense out of context.
  • Make links and hot spots big enough to hit with limited motor ability with a mouse.

“click here” … “more” … “Dr. Raj”

avoid flickering images
Avoid Flickering Images
  • Flashing, strobing or flickering images can induce seizures in some people.
  • Not to mention are annoying to almost everyone.
tables continued
Tables (continued)

Use the simplest layout possible.

  • Label rows and columns clearly
  • Don’t let headers span rows or columns
  • Use only one level of row/column names
tables continued1
Tables (continued)
  • Define sizes with percentages (%).
  • Not inches or cm.
image use

versus University

Image Use
  • Use real rather than graphical text
  • Use images liberally – they aid comprehension.
  • But avoid background images.
  • Provide descriptive “alternative text” or “alt-text” for images.
alt text for images
Alt-Text for Images
  • Screen readers read any alt-text you provide for images.
  • Don’t duplicate descriptions if they are already in main content.
  • Don’t describe images that are merely decorative.
  • Good clarity and organization help everyone.
  • Need to be keyboard-only accessible (no JavaScripts that change browser location)
  • Organize logically:
    • Clear instructions
    • Label required elements
    • Line up field names with response fields
audio and video
Audio and Video
  • Always provide a text transcript for all audio.
  • Include captions for all audio associated with video or changing images (e.g. PowerPoint).
    • Synchronized
    • Equivalent
    • Accessible
  • Don’t describe images that are merely decorative.
text presentation and formatting
Text Presentation and Formatting
  • Use simple, familiar fonts. No cursive or rare ones.
  • Provide high contrast between text and background.
    • E.g.
    • Not
  • Use footnotes rather than endnotes.1

blue on yellow

red on green

1to help keep them in context

text presentation and formatting1
Text Presentation and Formatting
  • Leave large, empty margins around the text.
  • Use blank lines between paragraphs.
clear writing
Clear Writing
  • Use active verbs, avoid passive voice
    • e.g. She wrote the book not The book was written by…
  • Avoid the verb “to be” as main verb
    • e.g., He charmed the audience not He was charming
  • Keep sentences short and simple.
  • Avoid double negatives.
  • Organize your ideas logically, use headings.