Websites produced with accessibility in mind provide robust, accessible frameworks for colleges, departments, and other business units to deliver online content. Web editors and other content providers should be aware of their role in ensuring that the content they add to their sites does not adversely impact accessibility for the end user. Regardless of where web and online resources are hosted, they must conform to University standards for web accessibility as published at itaccessibility.uiowa.edu/policy-and-practice.

Text

  • Use headings (h1-h6) to structure long documents; do not use headings for style only
  • Ensure that the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms is conveyed to users
  • Format text using best practices for readability, including contrast, emphasis, and style
  • Indicate the natural human language of your content, marking changes in language where appropriate

Images

  • For simple images, provide alternate descriptive text (ALT text), up to 100 characters
  • For images that require over 100 characters to describe, provide a link to a long description
  • ALT text should convey the content and purpose of the image
  • For wordmarks, logos, or similar images, provide ALT text that reflects the text in the image
  • For purely decorative images, provide empty ALT text or add the “presentation” role with ARIA
  • For images used as a link or button, make sure ALT text describes the purpose of the link

Tables

  • Ensure that tables include column and/or row headers that describe the data
  • Use SCOPE and ID/HEADERS to indicate relationships between header and data cells
  • Use tables to present tabular data; avoid using tables for layout or presentation
  • Include a caption that describes the purpose of the table

Lists

  • Use lists to present individual related items; lists describe grouping, sequence, and quantity
  • Use unordered lists to present items that appear in no particular order of precedence
  • Use ordered lists for items that appear in a particular order
  • Use nested lists to create outlines and hierarchical structures among listed items
  • Use definition lists to create glossaries with terms and definitions
  • Consider using lists for groups of related links

Links

  • Use links only to allow the user to move from one page, node, or context to another
  • Provide links with meaningful, descriptive text; “Click Here”, “Learn More”,  and “GO!” are not sufficient
  • To open links in a new window use “target=_blank”; indicate in text that the link will open a new window
  • Place important information first, and then advisory information (e.g., “Services: Opens new window”)
  • For images used as a link, make sure ALT text describes the purpose of the link
  • Test new links to determine that they can be used with only a keyboard; report failures to your web developer

Media

Video, audio, and other multimedia content posted on University websites, including material posted to third-party services such as YouTube, Vimeo, or social media, must conform to University of Iowa accessibility standards. For information about the accessibility of online audio, video, and multimedia formats, refer to itaccessibility.uiowa.edu/accessible-online-media.    

Documents

Word, PowerPoint, PDF, and other document formats posted on University websites must conform to University of Iowa accessibility standards. For information about the accessibility of online document formats, refer to itaccessibility.uiowa.edu/accessible-online-documents.

Web and Cloud Applications

Web and cloud applications, whether developed internally or procured through a third-party vendor, must conform to University of Iowa accessibility standards. For information about the accessibility of web and cloud applications, refer to https://itaccessibility.uiowa.edu/accessibility-testing/eit-accessibilit....

Request an Accessibility Consultation

The University of Iowa IT Accessibility Group is available for training and consultation on accessibility issues. To request a training or consultation, contact the University of Iowa IT Accessibility Group (itaccessibility@uiowa.edu).