Below is a general guide for improving the accessibility of your web-based project.
Before starting work on a website or application:
- Learn about web accessibility guidelines and best practices. Review general resources for web accessibility and understand the campus policy and standards.
- Determine if you will be using a content management system (CMS) such as Drupal or Wordpress. There are many content management systems available to build and maintain websites, but how can you tell if the one you choose will be accessible? See resources for site and content owners to find an accessible CMS.
- Determine the profile of your users. Who is your primary audience and why are they coming to your site? What will they need to find and what tasks will they need to accomplish when visiting your site? Consider whether or not individuals with disabilities will be able to accomplish these tasks. You never want to block users from using your website just because they don't use a monitor or mouse.
- Create website personas with web accessibility in mind. See some examples at Designing Accessible User Experiences.
As you start building a new website or evaluating an existing site:
- Consult helpful web accessibility tools that can be used to test your site for accessibility. Interpret your results and fix any issues.
- For additional advanced testing of your website: Complete the Web Accessibility rubric (Excel).
- If your site will include any interactive elements (such as forms or videos), build them with accessibility in mind. See resources for using ARIA and other accessible multimedia options.
When you're finished building your new site, or finished improving your existing site:
- Perform a quick keyboard test. Are you able to easily navigate through your website using just your keyboard?
- Review our Top 10 Tips for making your website accessible to see if you have covered all of the applicable points.
- Refer to the Web Access calendar and attend an open Web Access clinic (if available) in order to learn more about accessibility and other campus projects.
- Request a web access clinic for your own website for end-user testing and recommendations for fixing any issues.