Web Accessibility

Christopher Lyons
Department of Educational Technology
Boise State University

This page was created to provide information on designing accessible websites for people with visual impairments. The page provides information on web accessibility guidelines and resources to help designers understand obstacles that people with disabilities face when trying to access websites. There are links to accessibility evaluation tools at the bottom of the page.

Introduction to Web Accessibility

Web accessibility is how easy it is for a person with disabilities to use a web page. An accessible web page is easy for people with disabilities to understand and navigate. There are several different disabilities that can interfere with a person's ability to use a web page. These include, but are not limited to visual and auditory impairments, mobility issues, cognitive issues and risk of seizures. Guidelines have been set in place to ensure that people with disabilities are able to use websites.

In the United States there are two primary sets of guidelines that govern accessibility in website design. These two sets of guidelines are WCAG and Section 508.

Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed by congress in 1998, and updated in 2017, to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access websites. To find out more information about this law please read the Section 508 Guidelines

The World Wide Web Consortium published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These are widely accepted guidelines for creating accessible website. The guidelines can be viewed at WCAG 2.0 Guidelines

There are several different disabilities that can prevent a person from using a website. This page focuses on visual impairment. It provides links to information and tools that assist people with visual impairments. The page also provides links to pages that can evaluate if your web page meets accessibility standards.

Tips for Building an Accessible Website

Top 10 Tips for Making Your Website Accessible This page provides helpful tips for building an accessible website.

9 Simple Tips for Making Your Website Disability-Friendly This page gives some more recommendations for creating accessible websites.

Visual Impairment Resources

Color Contrast Checker This page lets you check the contrast of color combinations to ensure they are visible to people with colorblindness.

Color Blindness Simulator This pages lets you upload images to see what they would look like to a person with color blindness.

Reviews of Different Screen Magnification Software Information on different screen magnifiers provided by the American Foundation for the Blind. Screen magnifiers enlarge text to make it easier for people with low vision to read.

NVDA Free Screen Reader This is a link to download a free screen reader. Screen readers read text out loud and are often used by people who are unable to read the text on a computer screen.

Evaluation Tools

WAVE-Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool This is a tool that evaluates how accessible a website is for people with disabilities.

IDI Web Accessibility Checker This is a link to another free accessibility evaluation tool.

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