Creating accessible content

Web writers have an important role to play in accessibility. They must ensure content they add to accessible web templates doesn’t create barriers for people with disabilities.

10 tips for web writers

  1. Provide a text alternative for images
    Write a short text alternative for images that provide information or act as a link. For detailed images, add a long text alternative (on the same or a linked page). Leave the text alternative blank for images that are purely decorative.
  2. Choose images that don’t rely on colour
    Don’t use images that use colour alone to convey information. Supplement colour with text labels, patterns or textures.
  3. Choose images with high colour contrast
    Avoid using images where the text and background colour combinations provide poor contrast.
  4. Don’t turn text into an image
    Use live text rather than images of text. If necessary, get a web developer to create a style to display the text as desired.
  5. Use icons consistently
    If the site uses icons to label document downloads or link behaviours, use them consistently and with the same text alternatives.
  6. Don’t rely on sensory characteristics
    Avoid writing instructions that rely on colour, size, shape, position or orientation. Supplement with references to text labels.
  7. Tag foreign language words
    Use the appropriate language tags around foreign language words or phrases, unless they have become part of English or are commonly used in a particular discipline or profession.
  8. Tag headings, lists, quotations and tables
    Use the relevant HTML or PDF tags to identify headings, lists, quotations and table header cells and data cells.
  9. Write meaningful <titles>
    Identify pages and documents with a meaningful title.
  10. Write meaningful link text
    Show the purpose or function of a link by labelling it clearly. Where possible, write links that are meaningful without relying on the nearby content.