6 Things You Can Do to Make Your Website More Accessible

Sometimes it is hard to know where to start with a website, let alone with accessibility. Here are a few things you can do to move your website toward better accessibility.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but a practical starting point.

Perceivable Content

When a screen reader is reading your website, it uses image tags and labels to explain the visuals.

  1. Add meaningful “alt” text to images (“img123” is not meaningful; “smiling kid reading book” is meaningful).
  2. Make sure all your form elements are labeled.
  3. Use good color contrast for text foreground/background. White on white is REALLY hard to read :). Here’s a color contrast checker. Get to Level AA.

Usable Interface

If your website was a building you would have to unlock the door if you expected folks to come in, so unlock the metaphorical door by making sure your site is usable.

  1. Make page navigation/links possible using only the keyboard. Try starting with your cursor in the URL bar and then tabbing your way through. Check if your tabs flow in order or if you jump around the page.
  2. No page content flashes more than 3 times per second. 1999 called and they want their seizure inducing style back. Seriously. Prevent seizures.
  3. Make the purpose of each link obvious from the link text alone.

If you want a full overview of the current status of a live site, run it through Web Accessibility Evaluation tool. It’ll highlight the good things you’re doing along with the bad to give you a better idea of where you can focus your accessibility efforts.

Kieran Hixon

Technology & Digital Initiatives Consultant at Colorado State Library
Contact Kieran at hixon_k@cde.state.co.us.
Kieran Hixon

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