Web Development

Develop Accessibility in your Design

What you need to do in a web page to be 508 Compliant

These suggestions can be easily followed by all web page developers.

• Provide appropriate alternative text
adjusting eye piece on a wearable headsete

Alt text needs to be meaningful, not include the word image or .jpg, and should be between 7 to 81 characters.

• Ensure links make sense out of context and easily understood

Do not use words like "click here" or "more". Make links meaningful names instead of using the http:// Make sure that all links are underlined, this helps those with low vision or color blindness who cannot distinguish links by color alone.

• Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning

Use color to help users with cognitive impairments but do use rely on color alone. On this page I have highlighted all the components in maroon but I also make them a Header 4.

• Make sure content is clearly written and easy to read

Write clearly, use clear fonts, and use headings and lists appropriately.

• Allow users to skip repetitive elements on the page

If you develop your own page and have navigation links, you should provide a "Skip to Content," "Skip to Main Content," or "Skip Navigation" link at the top of the page which jumps to the main content of the page. If you have developed a wiki page then work with the wiki developers to include a skip to main content button for users to more easily navigate your wiki without having to listen to wiki embedded links.

These suggestions should be incorporated into more sophisticated web pages.

• Provide headings for data tables

Tables are used online for layout and to organize data. Tables that are used to organize data should the <th> element. Tables should not be used for layout, css should be used instead.

• Ensure users can complete and submit all forms

If you do not have a form then you don't have to worry about this one!

These suggestions should be incorporated into web pages with multimedia.

• Caption and/or provide transcripts for media

Videos and live audio must have captions and a transcript. With archived audio, a transcription may be sufficient.

• Ensure accessibility of non-HTML content

All attached files should be accessible: PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Adobe Flash content.

• Make JavaScript accessible

Ensure that JavaScript event handlers are device independent (e.g., they do not require the use of a mouse) and make sure that your page does not rely on JavaScript to function.

• Design to standards

Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Information from Section 508 and adapted from
NCDAE ncdae.org/tools/factsheets/principles.cfm