IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

Dena Shumila


1. Hypertext links should be descriptive, and should make sense when they are read one at a time or out of context.

2. Provide alternate text descriptions (Alt-Text) for all graphics.

  • Alpha-numeric characters contained within an image do not qualify as Alt Text.

3. Provide text-only alternate pages or sites in the following cases.

  • To translate graphic and text information into a text only version.
  • To describe a movie by providing an audio description of visual components like facial expressions and environment.
  • To describe a movie by providing captioning or a transcript of audio components like sounds and words.

4. Forms can be made accessible by:

  • Providing a form which can be downloaded then mailed or e-mailed.
  • Providing a phone number someone can call to supply the requested information.
  • Using exclusively text-based input.
  • Avoiding horizontal line breaks.
  • Avoiding default text entry, and clarifying where text entry fields occur and which information is being requested.

5. Avoid tables whenever possible. Place information contained within a table in a more linear format.

6. Background patterns and colour should contrast well with the lettering to maintain readability.

7. Include outlines at the beginning of documents.

  • Outlines identify the relevant features of a document, such as a general description of its structure, function, or content.

8. Lists can be made accessible by:

  • Announcing the occurrence of the list, and announcing the number of available choices before the list begins.
  • Labelling list items numerically.
  • Labelling sublist items alphabetically.
  • Putting a line break between each list item.

9. Buttons and Image Maps can be made accessible by:

  • Including a text anchor from an Image Map to a page describing the graphic as a whole, other significant graphic elements, pictures...
  • Providing text anchors for all Image Links or Hotspots accessible through an Image Map.
  • Giving the URL's associated with Image Links descriptive names, rather than names like "pic1", "pic2"... Descriptive names will enable users who are studying the source code of a document to determine the general contents of the page that the Image Link will take them to if it is selected.

10. General design tips.

  • Avoid non-standard HTML formats.
  • Avoid special tags.
  • Avoid uncommon typographical characters or constructions.
  • Avoid providing information that does not enhance the user's exploration or understanding of the page.