Creating accessible websites, wikis, blogs etc can be a complex issue and the following guidance is aimed at providing a brief overview of where to start. There are official guidelines available that cover this issue in depth. We would recommend you create your University websites using the University's content management system which will ensure most aspects of accessibility are covered. However, if you are creating a website, blog, wiki etc outwith Polopoly we would recommend you contact Viki Galt (details below) for an accessibility audit of the proposed site and bear in mind the points below. Currently, the two sets of guidelines that are most commonly referred to that cover this area are the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the British Standards Institute Code of Practice on website accessibility BS8878.The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines can be found at
Some general points to consider are:
- Ensure the standard font colour and background colour have a good contrast ratio e.g. dark text on a light background and the font is in a sans serif font and large enough (minimum font size 12).
- Provide subtitles for audio clips and transcripts and text alternatives to video and animations.
- Provide alternative text for all images, charts and graphs e.g. make sure all images have a meaningful written description. Ensure tooltips are enabled by default i.e. that a written description of any image automatically appears when you hover your mouse over it.
- Give contact details - name, phone number, and email address of person responsible for site content, and not just an email address.
- Customisation - make it easy for people to change font size, colour and contrast and give information on how to do this. The BBC has a useful website on this:
- Ensure pages and site can be navigated using the keyboard rather than only by mouse.
- Avoid flashing or scrolling text.
- Ensure no information is conveyed by colour or sound only e.g. priority items are shown in red.
- Ensure no content is time limited e.g. users have as long to look at a page as they wish.
- Alert users when a new window opens.
- Ensure contact and structure is readable, predictable and consistent
- Ensure pages are clearly structured using style sheets, text is broken up by sub-headings, and edit text to be simple and direct.
- Ensure the compatibility of the website with assistive technology such as screen readers. Plain HTML is easy for such technologies to convert. Applications such as Flash animations, Java applets and so on can be inaccessible, so plain text alternatives can help.
- Include a statement on your approach to website access and help to the user on how to make the site more accessible for them e.g. how to change font size and colour etc. The University automatically has this at the bottom of each of its webpages.
- Wherever possible we would encourage you to involve disabled people in the creation of your website to provide feedback and advice.
If you have any further queries or would like an accessibility audit report on your website please contact Viki Galt, Disability Information Officer, contact details below.
If you require this document in an alternative format please contact Viki Galt, Disability Information Officer