All UNC-Chapel Hill Web sites should strive to give disabled users an experience comparable to other visitors. Nothing in the design or programming should impede the ability of disabled users to navigate and access content.

While creating websites, developers at UNC should adopt and exceed the web standards established by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) for the creation of online content. Specifically consult the W3C’s page on accessibility.

Best practices

Auditory

  • Provide transcripts of audio content where applicable.

Cognitive

  • Do not use strobing content.
  • Provide easy-to-use controls and navigation schemes.
  • Employ consistency in labeling and navigation, where possible.
  • Use the clearest, simplest language appropriate to the content.
  • Provide control over all time-based media (i.e., slideshows).

Visual

  • Use well-structured and semantic HTML.
  • Use meaningful ALT attributes on images.
  • Do not use tables for layout purposes.
  • Properly linearize content, especially forms.
  • Provide sufficient contrast between foreground and background elements.
  • Avoid using pop-up windows.
  • Label all form elements.
  • Do not use Flash™ for navigation and avoid using it in other places, where possible.
  • Provide access keys and “skip to content” links.
  • Use WAI-ARIA landmarks where possible.
  • Position hidden content off-screen instead of using “display:none.”
  • Provide additional guidance and controls using off-screen content (i.e. descriptions of the page layout and available access keys).
  • Provide transcripts of audio content where applicable.
  • Do not using strobing content.
  • Provide easy-to-use controls and navigation schemes.
  • Employ consistency in labeling and navigation, where possible.
  • Use the clearest, simplest language appropriate to the content.
  • Provide control over all time-based media (i.e., slideshows).

Development tools

A number of plugins are available for the Firefox web browser that can help in testing your website’s compliance with accessibility guidelines:

Screen reader demos

Watch/listen to a screen reader in action:

More resources

 

Technical standards

HTML

HTML documents should, at a minimum, adhere to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard. Greater standards are also permissible.

Cascading Style Sheets should be used for all styling, whether presentation or layout.

Tables should not be used for layout or to present non-tabular data. When tables are used, they should be semantic and accessible. They should use:

  • The <th> tag instead of the <td> tag to mark up table header cells. When used, the scope attribute should also be set to “row” or “col” as appropriate.
  • The simplest table configuration possible — avoiding spanned cells and nested table headings.
  • The <caption> tag to describe the table. This is not mandatory, but is a good practice.

Browsers

All UNC-Chapel Hill websites should support the following browsers

  • Internet Explorer (8 and later)
  • Mozilla Firefox (1.5 and later)
  • Safari (2 and later)
  • Google Chrome

Browsers should be tested with the default settings, and degrade gracefully with Javascript and CSS disabled.

 

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