Creating Accessible Online Content for Websites, Wikis and Blogs
Guidance on creating accessible online content for websites, wikis and blogs.
Although creating accessible websites, wikis and blogs can be a complex issue, the following guidance is aimed at providing a brief and helpful overview. 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 (EdWeb) which will ensure most aspects of accessibility are covered. However, if you are creating a website, blog, wiki etc outwith EdWeb we would recommend you contact Viki Galt (details below) to discuss. If you create a site outside EdWeb, you will need to manually test, and subsequently add an Accessibility Statement, on an annual basis. This is a legal requirement under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018
In 2018 The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 were passed into UK Law.
These regulations build on the existing requirements under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure public sector bodies, including the University, have accessible websites and applications. It defines accessibility as compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standards. They define accessibility as compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standards.
It also requires all websites, applications and mobile applications to have accessibility statements. The regulations cover both internal and external facing websites and applications.
Accessibility statements must be published in an HTML format and linked to from the footer of each page within the site. They must also strictly follow the government template.
To write an accessibility statement you must test the website or application manually and not just use automated testing. In addition, it is a requirement that you test with various pieces of assistive software including screen readers such as JAWS/NVDA, voice recognition software such as Dragon and mobile accessibility features such as voice over/talk back.
For people within the University we have created wiki guidance on the creation of accessibility statements and regularly run training on how to create accessibility statements. If you would be interested in attending this training please contact Viki Galt at the contact details at the bottom of this page.
British Standards Institute Code of Practice
For other standards of compliance, please refer to the British Standards Institute (BSI) Code of Practice BS8878, which can be ordered via telephone on (+44) 20 8996 9001, or by emailing email@example.com.
General Website Accessibility Considerations
- Ensure the standard font colour and background colour have a good contrast ratio e.g. a ratio of at least 4.5:1, and ideally a dark text on a light background.
- Ensure the font is in a sans serif font and large enough (minimum font size 12).
- Provide transcripts for audio clips and captions for videos.
- Provide alternative text for all images, charts and graphs e.g. make sure all images have a meaningful written description.
- Ensure users can magnify the content to at least 200% without the use of assistive software, and that the pages reflow (users only have to scroll vertically and not horizontally as well).
- Ensure the site can be viewed in landscape and portrait modes
- Ensure text is not displayed as images
- Customisation - ensure the site is compatible with browser functionality so it is easy for people to change font size, colour and contrast and there is no loss of content. For more information on how to do this each various browsers visit
- Ensure all content can be navigated to and interacted with using a keyboard only (without a mouse) and there are no keyboard traps.
- Avoid flashing, scrolling or moving images or text. If there is any movement, ensure the user can stop this, and that no images or text flash more than 3 times per second.
- 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/pop up opens.
- Ensure link text clearly states what the link is - avoid using URL's in full or "click here"
- Ensure content and structure is readable, predictable and consistent
- Ensure navigation is consistent
- Add a 'skip to main content' option for keyboard and screen reader users.
- Ensure pages are clearly structured using style sheets, text is broken up by sub-headings, and edit text to be simple and direct.
- Ensure there is data validation for any input boxes, and that these error messages are accessible. Moreover, messages should give a clear description of how to fix the problem and identify the error location.
- Ensure the compatibility of the website with assistive technology such as screen readers and voice recognition software. Plain HTML is easy for such technologies to convert.
- Ensure you have an Accessibility Statement published and that this is up to date.
- Wherever possible we would encourage you to involve disabled people in the creation of your website to provide feedback and advice.
At present, you are able to upload video and audio content to Media Hopper and request automated subtitles. Please note that these are only approximately 60-70% accurate, so will need manual editing. Guidance is avaliable on how to edit subtitles. For more details on captions see:
If you have any further queries or would like an accessibility audit report on your website please contact Viki Galt, Head of Disability Information, contact details below.
If you require this document in an alternative format please contact Viki Galt, Head of Disability Information.
BSL users can contact me via Contact Scotland BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website.