Websites created with accessibility in mind will allow their use
for a wide variety of people and will be clearer, better-organized
and more useful for everyone.
UB's web presence is the way in which many people are first
introduced to all we have to offer, and is critical to
communicating with our community. In order to be fully inclusive,
UB's websites must be accessible to everyone. These principles will
allow you to build websites that everyone can access.
Accessible websites have the following attributes:
- They use HTML headings. Heading provide an outline
so that a user will understand the page layout, and they provide a
target to allow a user to jump from heading to heading. Headings
also provide for a better-organized and clearer website for all
users, regardless of whether they access the site through assistive
- They can be accessed with a keyboard. A user can
easily access content using the tab key. You can test this by
setting aside your mouse and trying to navigate the site using only
- They use alternative text ("alt text") to describe pictures,
graphs, and other visual information that is not in text
- Menus are accessible and do not require a user to hover over
them with a mouse. Dropdown menus can present challenges
for individuals using assistive technology.
- Forms allow a user to tab through the fields, and
contain descriptive text in each field for screen readers.
- Columns are used to divide content into sections instead of
data tables. Where a data table is used to present data,
it is either presented in a simple table or series of simple tables
with table headers, or there is sufficient alternative text to
allow a user to understand the content of the table.
- Color is not used to convey content. Where colors
are used, they must have sufficient contrast.
- Link text is descriptive, but short and easy to convey with
voice commands. Long URLs should not be used as link text,
nor should non-descriptive phrases like "click here" without
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 provide
detailed information about standards in accessible content.
WCAG instructs that web content should follow these
- It must be perceivable, either alone or through
- It must be operable by individuals regardless of whether
they use assistive technology, or whether they have visual,
hearing, motor or other impairments;
- Content must be readable and understandable, and the
website should operate in predictable ways;
- It must be robust and able to be accessed through a
variety of assistive technologies.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) publishes detailed
about WCAG 2.0 compliance that outlines how websites
can meet each of these principles.