All University websites are required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 (specifically Subpart B, 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications).

While Aurora’s central themes are tested and kept accessible by UITS web developers, individual webmasters are responsible for keeping the content of their pages and sites accessible as well.

Use Good Alt Tags

Alt tags for images help make a site more accessible. WordPress will use the file name of an image as the Alt tag, but this is likely not going to be good enough to pass an accessibility review. A good alt tag briefly describes the content of an image.

No Table Layouts

Layouts of rows and columns should be done with Bootstrap code, not HTML Tables. Besides being inaccessible, HTML tables will also break your pages in mobile views! Tables should only be used when the content in a cell is defined by what row and column it belongs to.

Avoid ‘Click Here’ Links

Avoid ‘Click Here’ and similar phrases for links. Instead, have the link text describe the link destination. In addition to being more accessible, it will help with your Google search rankings. For example, “For more information about our admissions process click here” could be better as “More information about our admissions process“.

Use Headings

Use headings to organize your page content. For example, this page uses Heading 2 (h2) and Heading 3 (h3) tags. “Quick Tips to Keep Your Pages Accessible” is a Heading 2, and “Use Headings” is a Heading 3. Besides bringing in a larger font and adding white space, these headings are great for accessibility. They allow impaired users to skip through the heading tags the same way you would visually scan a page for headlines. Heading 3 would be a subsection within an Heading 2 section. You can add headings to a by going to Format > Formats > Headings or by using the keyboard shortcut (Control + 2, Control + 3, etc. on Windows, Command + 2, Command + 3, etc. on Mac). Headings help your site to look great, be more accessible, and they will really help your search engine rankings.

Watch Color Contrast

Be careful with color contrast. You will be able to change the color of your page text or upload images with text. Remember that users may have forms of color blindness or weaker eyesight. In the Resources section below, there are ways to measure the contrast levels with some websites or apps. In general, don’t put red text on a green background, or yellow text on a white background. Make sure your text is clearly legible.

Contact Information

Be sure to have contact information clearly visible on the website (homepage, main navigation, or footer), providing the ability to request alternate versions of inaccessible material to viewers with disabilities.

Please note that while these tools will help issues, many aspects of web accessibility require a degree of judgement. For example, a tool can detect if you’re missing an Alt tag for an image, but it won’t be able to figure out if an Alt tag accurately describes the image.

Tool Description Instructions
WAVE A website that scans a single page of your site. After scanning, click the Flag icon, then change the filter to Section 508.
Web Accessibility Toolbar A browser extension for Internet Explorer that allows you to quickly run scans on any webpage.
Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar A browser extension for Firefox that allows you to quickly run scans on any webpage.