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Accessible Web Sites: Home

Tips for coding accessible web sites that meet ADA requirements.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acronyms and Abbreviations can be problematic for screen readers because it tries to read them as a word. Here's how to make them more clear: 

<acronym title="Teaching Innovation Learning Lab">TILL</acronym> <abbr title="Collaborative Learning Center">CLC</abbr>

The distinction between these is that the acronym is usually pronounced as its own word; whereas, the abbreviation is pronounced by saying each letter.

Alt text for Images

IMG tags must have an ALT attribute. Add an ALT attribute describing each image, which screen readers read aloud. IMG ALT text must not be the same as the image file name.

<img id="logoUofL" src="//libapps.s3.amazonaws.com/sites/775/include/uofl-monogram_RGB2.svg" alt="University of Louisville">

You can also use the assign an image to a Link that you've added, but make sure the alternative text field is completed.

screenshot for adding link image

Deprecated Tags

Some elements of early HTML are no longer used. If these elements show up in your Rich Text / HTML fields, they need to be removed  / updated:

Tags:  <font> <center> <u> <i> <b> 

Attributes:  name target align border bgcolor cellpadding cellspacing size valign width 

For a more complete list see:

Foreign Languages

Phrases in a different language need to be identified with a LANG attribute which can be added to a tag surrounding the bit of text.

<span lang="fr">Les Cygnes noirs </span>
Frequently Used Languages & Their Codes
Language Code
Italian it
Spanish es
German de
French fr

Frame Titles

Each FRAME and IFRAME element needs a title attribute. Without it screen readers read out the filename which is usually meaningless.

Example:

example of frame with title attribute

Justified Text

Do not justify text. Justified text aligns to both the left and right margins. 

Why? The spaces between words can create "rivers of white" running down the page which makes the text difficult to read for some people. 

"More" or "Click Here" Links

LibGuides Add Link screenshotLinks that have just the word “More” as the text create problems for our patrons who use screen readers to navigate our site. Typically, they use the tab key to jump from link to link as their version of skimming the page. When links are labeled vaguely or in a way that requires the user to see the context around it to make sense of the link then it makes that content inaccessible. 

Unfortunately, there is an element in the LibGuides editor that kind of encourages folks to create “More” links. So I want to point it out and ask that you NOT use it. When you add a Link in the system you get an editing box like the one to the left

Note the “More Info” box.  Do NOT put info in this box

Linked PDFs

Links to PDFs need to include "PDF" inside the link so that screen readers let people know that they are about to open a PDF.

<a href="http://www.law.louisville.edu/files/2011lawlibusersmanual.pdf">Review Law Library policies PDF</a>

PDF Reader

According to ADA every page that includes a link to a PDF needs to include a link to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

Our site uses so many PDFs that a link to Acrobat Reader has been added to our footer. You do not need to add the Acrobat Reader box.

Tables

Tables should be set up to indicate screen readers identify key elements. A table head section identifies the column headings and a caption functions as the table title.

 

<table class="table table-striped"> <caption>Shelly's Daughters</caption> <tr> <th scope="col">Name</th> <th scope="col">Age</th> <th scope="col">Birthday</th> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Jackie</th> <td>5</td> <td>April 5</td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Beth</th> <td>8</td> <td>January 14</td> </tr> </table>
Shelly's Daughters
Name Age Birthday
Jackie 5 April 5
Beth 8 January 14

target="_blank"

Avoid specifying a new window as the target of a link with target="_blank".

Displaying new windows without warning can be very confusing to non-sighted and mobile users. Some screen readers and mobile devices give very little indication a new tab or window has opened. If you cannot avoid displaying a new window, insert a warning into the link text like the following: "opens in a new window".

Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

All Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files should be saved as PDFs and then tested for accessibility before being uploaded to the site.

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