These are core concepts for digital accessibility across all formats. For tips on specific content types like slides or PDFs, see Create Accessible Documents.
Headings & Structure
- Titles and headings make content more accessible to screen reader users and readers with cognitive disabilities.
- Provide a brief, descriptive title for all pages, documents, and media.
- Use headings to divide and label sections of content.
- Add headings using the editing toolbar rather than by using large, bold fonts.
- More about titles, headings, and structure
- Don't "click here!" Links should describe their destination and make sense even without the surrounding text.
Example: "Learn about creating accessible links" is better than "Click here to learn about accessible links."
- Links should open in the same window except in rare cases when following a link would interrupt a process, such as a link that would take the user away from a webform they are filling out.
- Links to files/media should indicate the file type within the linked text, as in Accessibility Do's and Don'ts (PDF)
- Provide descriptive alternative text for meaningful images.
- Use an empty alt tag for decorative images that don't convey meaning.
- Alternative text is not just for websites. Add alt text to any meaningful images in PDFs, Microsoft and Google Docs, social media posts, etc.
- Provide complete text descriptions for complex visuals like charts, diagrams, and infographics that can't be fully explained in brief alt text.
- More about accessible images
Captions & Audio Descriptions
- Videos must have captions. Videos also need audio descriptions if they convey information visually that is not described in the captions.
- Audio-only content must have a transcript.
- Most videos are watched with the sound off, and captions and transcripts are used for many reasons (e.g., students who are studying in noisy environments or who learn better from reading than watching/listening).
- Find out how to caption video and audio media in popular applications, including:
- Use contrasting colors for the text and background. You can use a contrast checker to make sure the colors you've chosen are accessible.
- Don't rely solely on color to convey information. Use symbols or text alongside color coding to ensure that color blind users can get the same information.
- More on color and contrast