Editor’s Picks

Find answers to your questions about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and learn more about the broader issues related to digital accessibility and how people with disabilities navigate your website and other digital assets. This page is regularly updated with carefully selected resources from government, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and others committed to web accessibility.

Distractibility Simulation

Demonstrates how difficult it can be to navigate even a simple site when operating under an intense cognitive load as someone with an intellectual disability might experience.

Source > WebAIM

When the ADA Requires Web Content to Be Accessible

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to both state and local governments (Title II) and businesses that are open to the public (Title III). Barriers on the web keep people with disabilities from accessing information and programs that businesses and state and local governments make available to the public online. But these barriers can be prevented or removed so that websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

Source > U.S. Department of Justice

Accessibility Standards and Guidance for People with Cognitive Disabilities or Low Literacy

People with impaired short-term memory may be unable to recall passwords, or they have trouble remembering new icons. Users whose first language isn’t English may have difficulty understanding your content. And people who process information differently or at different speeds may need additional time to understand the design relationships and information on the screen. Watch this video to learn more about these and many other reasons for adhering to accessibility standards that make your website accessible to as many people as possible, including users with intellectual disabilities.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Designing for Screen Reader Compatibility

Learn about the importance of links and form controls, headings, landmarks and page sections, and much more as you design your website to be compatible with screen readers.

Source > WebAIM

Designing for Web Accessibility–Tips for Getting Started

Some basic considerations to help you get started making your user interface design and visual design more accessible to people with disabilities. These tips can also help you meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) requirements.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

U.S. Department of Education Releases “How-To” Video Series on Digital Accessibility

In partnership with the ADA National Network, the Department has released a 20-part video series covering topics such as how people with disabilities use technology, applicable Federal laws, and how to identify and remediate different types of technological barriers. The videos provide a basic instruction on many different digital accessibility concepts, such as fundamental manual testing techniques, use of color, logical reading order, meaningful video captions, and others.

Source > U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

Free Web Evaluation Tools: What They Can (and Can’t) Do

This presentation looks at some common online tools that can be used to evaluate different aspects of web accessibility. The session will discuss why many website features require human evaluation to truly determine if the site is accessible. The session also discusses how different parts of the web team should be involved in evaluation and validation issues.
Source > Great Lakes ADA Center

Making Content Usable for People with Cognitive and Learning Disabilities

Making web sites and applications usable by people with cognitive and learning disabilities affects every part of design and development. Traditionally, accessibility focused on making the interface usable for people with sensory and physical impairments (vision, hearing, or mobility). Some accessibility features will help people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Providing Visible Focus for Keyboard Users

It’s often difficult for keyboard users to tell where they are on the page. Designers must take care to ensure that it is easy to tell which item on the page currently has keyboard focus.

Source > University of Washington

Digital Accessibility Leading the Way for Businesses Today

Businesses should consider the accessibility impact of fonts, colors, audio-visual elements and layout decisions in their ad campaigns and marketing materials on a larger scale, as well as provide closed-captioned videos across social media and other platforms, in all relevant languages and translations.

Source > CIO Review

Justice Department Secures Agreement with CVS to Make Online COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Accessible

The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island today announced a settlement agreement with CVS Pharmacy Inc., under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that will eliminate barriers preventing people with certain disabilities from getting information about COVID-19 vaccinations and booking vaccination appointments online.

Source > U.S. Department of Justice

Video Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards

Captioned video that explains what accessibility means when it comes to websites and other digital assets. The video also explains how accessibility benefits all users. For example, captions make content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and they also are useful for someone watching a video in a public environment. People with age-related impairments, such as reduced dexterity, who may have difficulty using a mouse, benefit from the option to use only the keyboard to navigate. Many accessibility features can be built into the underlying code of websites and applications.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Twitter Encouraging Users To Make Tweets More Accessible

Twitter is rolling out a new feature aimed at making the platform more accessible to people with disabilities. The company said that it is making image descriptions more apparent for photos and other images included in tweets.

Source > Disability Scoop

Cognitive Accessibility Guidance

Supplemental guidance on making web content accessible to people who are neurodiverse, including those with autism and learning or intellectual disabilities. The guidance focuses on helping users navigate websites, ensuring that content is clear and understandable, and enabling users to avoid making mistakes on input and correct them when they do.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Justice Department Issues ADA Web Accessibility Guidance

The Department of Justice has published guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It explains how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements.

Source > U.S. Department of Justice

Best Practices for Writing for the Accessible Web

When developing accessible content, it’s critical to understand the role of headers as guides, the importance of effective alt text for images, and why “click here” is never a good reference for a link.

Source > Digital.gov

Tips for Making Your Website Keyboard-Accessible

Check out these coding techniques to improve your website’s accessibility, especially for users who are blind or visually impaired and don’t use a mouse to navigate.

Source > American Foundation for the Blind

WCAG 2.1 Reference Guide

This guide covers the four main principles of web accessibility, POUR, which stands for Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. The guide also lists the success criteria associated with each principle.

Source > Rocky Mountain ADA Center (Opens 397KB PDF)

Digital Access and Title III of the ADA

This research brief highlights some of the barriers that people with disabilities face when navigating websites. Developers can enhance access and usability by including user outcomes throughout the development process, consulting inclusion experts, and having people with disabilities participate in user testing.

Source > ADA National Network

Alt Text Tips and Tricks

Check out this guidance related to images (informative, decorative, functional, etc.) on your website. Imagine that you’re reading the web page aloud over the phone to someone who needs to understand the page. This should help you decide what (if any) information or function the images have.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Checklist for Plain Language on the Web

Help your readers quickly find what they need by following these web writing tips. Here are a few: Less is more! Be concise; break documents into separate topics; use even shorter paragraphs than on paper; and use short lists and bullets to organize information.

Source > Plainlanguage.gov

Requirements for WCAG 3.0 — W3C First Public Working Draft

On January 21, 2022 the W3C issued its first public working draft of the requirements for WCAG 3.0. Changing technology and the changing needs of people with disabilities has shown areas where guidance could be improved.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

An alt Decision Tree

Follow this decision tree as you make decisions about how to make different types of images–informative, complex, decorative, and functional–accessible to people with disabilities.

Source > W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative

Designing Accessible Web Forms

If you give users an article to read and you never hear from them, you might assume that they got the information they needed, and everything was fine. But when a user submits a form with crazy input in it—why do these people put the zip code in the city field?—an accessibility alarm should sound. Check out this important resource from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Source > American Foundation for the Blind