Are Your Webpages Accessible?

As someone who maintains or creates content for an NIU website, it’s important for you to know about web accessibility. Since NIU is a state institution, we’re required to make sure that our websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

People with disabilities may use assistive technologies to gain information from a website. There are many kinds of assistive technologies. A screen reader is a kind of assistive technology that reads the text in a digital document out loud. It can help a user quickly locate headings, links and other information on a webpage.

When you’re working on an NIU webpage, keep accessibility in mind. Think about how your content would work with assistive technologies like screen readers. Ask yourself the following questions to check for some common accessibility issues.

Am I using headings correctly?

Headings are an important part of your content. They make it easy for visitors to skim a page and locate information. Use them to organize your content and break large amounts of text into manageable chunks.

Be sure to use heading formatting for a heading. If you use bold instead of a heading tag, a screen reader won’t recognize it as a heading.

Are my links easy to understand?

When a visitor skims a page to locate information, they’re likely to focus on headings and links. If a link says “click here,” it doesn’t provide any clues about the link’s destination. Be sure to use language that makes your links understandable out of context.

Instead of this: For more information about assistive technologies, click here.

Try this: Learn more about assistive technologies.

Do my images have alternative text?

You should include alternative text for any image on your webpage that isn’t purely decorative. The alternative text should give a brief description of the image. The alternative text will display if the image can’t be shown or if a visitor is using a screen reader.

If an image on your webpage is there only for decorative purposes, be sure to check the Decorative Image box in Cascade.

Additional Resources

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