Minnesota Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy And Guidelines
Accessibility Policy Statement
It is the policy of the State of Minnesota that Minnesota state government Web sites ensure equivalent accessibility for individuals with disabilities when the site is developed, procured, maintained, or used for information and electronic technology services. It is the responsibility of the agency and its representatives to become familiar with the guidelines for achieving universal accessibility and to apply accessibility principles in designing and creating any official State of Minnesota Web site.
Subtitle A, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local government in the provision of services, programs and activities, even when they are made available by contractors. This subtitle also covers communication with the public and the public’s use of public facilities. All such programs must be administered in the most integrated setting possible.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects persons within the following protected classes: race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, and familial status. The areas included in the MHRA are: employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, education, retaliation (called reprisal under the Human Rights Act), and aiding and abetting, as it pertains to individuals in their capacity as management employees.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as reauthorized requires that when Federal departments or agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology they must ensure that the technology allows Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of information and data by employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking information or services from a department or agency have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities. Standards were published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000, and are enforceable as of June 21, 2001. These standards are applicable to the states by virtue of Section 101 (e) (3) of the Tech Act where it states that each state receiving a grant under this Tech Act must abide by the assurance it submitted under Section 103 of the previous Tech Act of 1988.
Minnesota Statute 16C.145, Nonvisual technology access chapter, requires nonvisual access standards be included in all contracts for the procurement of information technology by and for the use of, agencies, political subdivisions, and the Minnesota state colleges and universities. The standards must include specifications regarding effective, interactive control and use of the technology, require information technology compatibility, integration into networks used to share communications, and have the capability of providing equivalent access by nonvisual means to telecommunications or other interconnected network services used by individuals who are not blind or visually impaired.
To ensure that Minnesota state government Web sites are created, developed and maintained to serve the largest possible audience. To comply with the Federal government’s Section 508 E and IT Standards.
Compliance with these guidelines provides an added benefit to those users with text-based browsers, low-end processors, slow modem connections and/or no multi-media capabilities on their computer. It also allows for access to Minnesota web sites by new technologies, such as WebTV, Internet phones, and personal organizers with Internet connectivity.
Web designers, content providers, and administrators are the intended audience for this document. It is recognized that technology is rapidly changing and therefore agencies and its representatives continually examine, discuss and evaluate access concerns.
State of Minnesota agencies: Each department and political subdivisions such as office, board, bureau, commission, or other unit of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government, including Minnesota state colleges and universities.
Device Accessibility: The ability to locate, identify, and operate all of the device controls and functions. The ability to access the output provided by or through the device.
Information Accessibility: The ability to access information relaying text, static or dynamic images, icons, labels, sounds or incidental operating cues.
Universal Accessibility: Consideration for all types of functional impairment including, but not limited to, visual (such as blindness, low vision, visual tracking difficulties), auditory (such as deafness or hard of hearing), cognitive (such as learning disabilities) or mobility (such as inability to coordinate or control movement). The standards developed by the Access Board explain the detailed technical and functional performance criteria that will determine whether a technology product or system is accessible. (www.access-board.gov) In general, an information technology system is accessible to people with disabilities if it can be used in a variety of ways that do not depend on a single sense or ability.
The complaint process is the same as that used for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, for complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in Federally-conducted programs or activities. It provides injunctive relief and attorney’s fees to the prevailing party, but does not include compensatory or punitive damages. Individuals may also file a civil action against an agency.
An agency does not have to comply with the technology accessibility standards if it would impose an undue burden to do so. Consistent with the language used in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights legislation, the term undue burden has been defined as "significant difficulty or expense." However, the agency must explain why meeting the standards would pose an undue burden for a given action, and must still provide people with disabilities access to the information or data that is affected.
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
§ 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a) through (l).
(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
Guidelines for Web Site Design
Compliance with the Policy and Standards is required and Guidelines are designed to present options for achieving compliance
The emergence of the World Wide Web (WWW) has made it possible for individuals to interact as never before. The Internet can be a tremendous aid in accessing information. However, the form and format of information on a Web site can either help or hinder access for people with disabilities.
The latter is frequently the case because a person’s hardware and/or software is unable to support the new features, or the feature was not designed with universal accessibility in mind. While the adaptive technology used by consumers with disabilities is continuously being developed and refined, advancements in this area are usually one or more steps behind the introduction of new Internet components and tools.
Given this broad and rapid growth in technology, it is unwise for a Web developer to make assumptions about the abilities of the end-user or the equipment at their disposal. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Web-page author to present information in a manner which ensures access by a diverse audience.
A first screen that contains only graphics and no introductory text provides little, if any, information about the site for the users of some screen-readers. A lack of introductory text may also be problematic for individuals who are using a text-only browser, a browser with picture loading disabled or a portable wireless device such as a cellular phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The first screen should contain at least some text.
The use of consistent design strategies for all related documents will make navigation easier for everyone. A consistent look and feel, across all pages of a site, aids visitors in identifying ownership of a page. Provide a method for bypassing navigational controls at the top of each page, allowing users of adaptive technology to jump directly to the content of the page. Once you have designed an accessible and effective page, use it as a template for all other pages of the site.
Different users will access documents differently. One user may access the site more easily in smaller sections, while another may find a larger document easier to manage. Present larger documents in smaller sub-units and offer complete text-only versions for download.
Frames used to subdivide a browser screen into smaller and separate sub-units can be very inaccessible to persons using screen-readers or screen magnification applications. Some browsers may not be able to handle frames. Avoid the use of frames or use clear alternative methods (i.e., a link to a no-frames page) that provides the user with all of the information presented in the frames-based version.
Browser-Specific HTML Tags
Some HTML tags are specific to a particular browser. Use of such browser specific tags may cause page elements to display incorrectly or not at all. Remember, your site is for conveying information to visitors with a variety of skills, interests, equipment and abilities. Do not use HTML constructs (tags) that are specific to (and only supported by) one Web browser. Test your Web pages with a variety of Web browsers. You might be surprised to see how the page you designed for one browser looks when using another.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Cascading Style Sheets allow Web site designers to produce Web pages with a consistent look that can be easily updated. Because style sheets can be used to affect the appearance of an entire page, they can be used to enhance accessibility. However, Web pages that use CSS should degrade gracefully in order that the information will be accessible to browsers that do not support CSS and browsers in which CSS support has been disabled.
Web page authors have a responsibility to provide script information in a fashion that can be read by assistive technology. Screen-readers will often read the content of a script as a meaningless jumble of numbers and letters when functional text that conveys an accurate description as to what is being displayed by the script is not included.
If the function of a script is to fill the contents of an HTML form with basic default values, the text inserted into the form by the script should be accessible to a screen-reader. In contrast, if a script is used to display menu choices when the user moves the pointer over an icon, functional text for each menu choice cannot be specified and a redundant text link must be provided for each menu item.
Roll-over Controls (onmouseover)
Roll-over controls that move the user from their current location can make navigation difficult or impossible for visitors using a screen-reader, those who have trouble controlling a mouse and those whose equipment does not support a mouse or similar pointing device. Do not use roll-overs in a drop-down list. Instead, use a separate button to initiate a drop-down menu selection.
Roll-overs that change the appearance of a control or cause additional information to be displayed do not cause a problem for screen-reader users and may provide useful feedback for users with learning disabilities or mobility impairments. However, screen-reader users will not be able to access pop-up information or menus. Be sure to include the text of pop-up information in the ALT tag for the graphic and provide redundant links for pop-up menu items.
Automatic refreshing of a page may prevent access to the information for users of screen-readers, screen magnification applications and individuals with learning or cognitive impairments. A method for disabling the automatic refreshing of a page or site must be provided.
When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given an opportunity to indicate that more time is necessary.
Font (Face, Size and Color)
Whether it is merely personal preference or necessitated by a visual impairment, individuals may view pages using color schemes or font sizes other than those originally intended. Be sure that information on a page remains clear and accessible when viewed in different font sizes. It is a good practice to review pages using a variety of font sizes, from the largest available to the smallest.
Visitors must be able to vary the size of the display font. Specify font sizes as relative values rather than absolute. CSS allows font-size to be defined in a number of ways. Specifying font size in ems — rather than pixals — is the preferred method for web accessibility, as it is relative to the user's default font size.
Color alone should not be used to convey information; as this information may be inaccessible to individuals who are color blind, screen-reader users, individuals with low-vision, users of some hand-held devices, and individuals using a monochrome display. When using colored text and/or a colored background, be sure that the contrast between the text and the background is significantly high at all color depths. Some optimal text and background combinations for those with color vision anomalies include black on white, white on black, yellow on black and black on yellow.
The following table lists some color combinations that should be avoided. Check your colors using different browsers and platforms.
Backgrounds and Wallpaper
Graphical backgrounds and wallpaper should not be used to convey information. Highly detailed or "busy" backgrounds and wallpaper should be avoided, as they may make it difficult or impossible to discern the overlying text. Check the readability of text against a background by reviewing the page using a variety of font sizes, color depths, screen resolutions, platforms, browsers and as black and white only.
Blinking Text and Marquees
Blinking text and marquees (text that scrolls automatically on the screen) may be troublesome for persons with visual or cognitive impairments. Blinking text may trigger a seizure in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Screen elements that flicker must do so at a frequency of less than twice a second (2 Hz) or greater than 55 times a second (55 Hz). Do not use the blink or marquee elements.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Acronyms and abbreviations may not be clear to all individuals visiting your site. Screen-readers will attempt to pronounce acronyms and abbreviations that contain vowels; these pronunciations may be misleading or unintelligible to the screen-reader user. The first occurrence of an acronym in the body of a document should be preceded by the full title to which the acronym refers — Computer Accommodations Program (CAP).
When used as part of a link, the <ABBR> and <ACRONYM> elements should be used to denote and expand acronyms and abbreviations. These tags do not visibly display any text — the expanded text is read by screen-readers only.
<ACRONYM title="University of Minnesota">UMN</ACRONYM>
Although it is mostly a matter of personal preference and common sense, the following guidelines may help to determine when to use the <ABBR> element and when to use the <ACRONYM> tag:
- Use the <ABBR> tag for familiar abbreviations and acronyms (e.g., FYI, ASAP, CST/CDT, lbs. and the like).
- Use the <ACRONYM> tag any time the acronym refers to a place, organization or other proper noun. This will aid sighted visitors in identifying the acronym.
Note: The <ABBR> and <ACRONYM> elements are part of the html 4.0 specifications and may not be interpreted by some browsers — they will probably not be recognized by most text-only browsers, such as Lynx.
Use an asterisk (*), a single letter (A) or single number (1) as the alternative text for graphical bullets.
Some screen-readers may not automatically detect bullets and numbers created using an HTML list tag — unordered list <UL> and ordered list <OL>. Therefore, avoid the use of the HTML <OL> tag to create numbered lists, when the number is to be referenced elsewhere in the document. Number the list manually as an alternative to using numbered list tags.
The use of punctuation may aid the understanding of Web page information for users of screen-readers.
Although section headings and individual list items may be visually distinct; it is often beneficial to screen-reader users to have headings, list items and similar elements end with or be separated by suitable punctuation. The text color for punctuation symbols used in this manner may be the same as the back ground color on which they appear, when the use of such punctuation is found to be visually distracting.
Multiple Column Layout
When tables are coded inaccurately or table codes are used for non-tabular material (newspaper style columns), some screen-reader users may find it difficult or impossible to access the information. The presentation of materials in a tabular or multicolumn format may be difficult to access for visitors with low vision, cognitive impairments, visual tracking impairments and users of some hand-held devices as well. When tables are used to present information, be sure appropriate coding is used and a de-columnized version or other means of acquiring the information is available.
When the information in a table is created dynamically (generated based on user input/responses), use appropriate coding and provide a de-columnized version or other means of acquiring the information. It may be impractical or technically difficult to provide a de-columnized alternative when a table itself is created dynamically. Where it is not reasonable to accommodate a de-columnized version, alternative options for obtaining the information should be made available and noted on the page.
Pictures and other graphics cannot be directly accessed by users of screen-readers, language translation applications or some hand-held devices. Similarly, some users choose to turn picture loading off — especially those users with slower dial-in connections. An ALT tag is used to specify alternative text for an image. For example: The tag <IMG SRC="UpArrow.gif" ALT="Up Arrow"> (where UpArrow.gif is the picture of an upward pointing arrow) will result in the image of an upward pointing arrow being displayed by graphical browsers with image-loading enabled. The text "Up Arrow" will be presented in place of the image by a text-only browser, a graphics-capable browser with image-loading disabled or spoken by a screen-reader. In the absence of an alt tag, screen-readers will speak the path and file name for the graphic — this rarely provides any useful information. Graphical browsers with picture loading disabled will display an empty gray rectangle.
Images can be a tremendous aid in the understanding of page content for visitors with learning disabilities, cognitive impairments and those whose native language is not that in which the page is presented. Select images carefully and provide a clear, complete and concise description in the ALT tag.
Alt="U of M Wordmark"
Alt="University of Minnesota"
Alt="Picture of two adults."
Alt="Picture of a college student and their professor working at a computer."
Alt="Picture of a lake. The lake appears to be frozen, with small piles of snow scattered about its surface. The land and trees in the foreground are also covered by snow."
Alt="Picture of a lake in Winter."
Tables and Charts
ALT tags are limited to 256 characters and may not be adequate for describing graphical tables and charts (e.g., pie charts, line and bar graphs, or tabular information presented as a graphic). There are several methods for conveying the information represented by these types of images:
- Convey all of the information in the text body of the document.
- Use the graphic as a link to a complete text description of the information being conveyed.
- Provide a separate text link to a complete text description of the information being conveyed. The text color for these links may be the same as the back ground color on which they appear.
Animations cannot be directly accessed by users of screen-readers, language translation applications, some hand-held devices, browsers that do not support animation or have the feature disabled. Like static images, an ALT tag must be included for each animation. ALT tags may not be adequate for animations used to convey information. There are several methods for conveying the information:
- Convey all of the information in the text body of the document.
- Use the animation as a link to a complete text description of the information being conveyed.
- Provide a separate text link to a complete text description of the information being conveyed. The text color for these links may be the same as the back ground color on which they appear.
If the animation contains meaningful audio, a separate text description of the audio portion must be provided for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Links must be clear, descriptive and able to stand alone. Do not use single word links — they do not provide an adequate description of the information to be retrieved, nor do they provide an adequate-sized target for persons who have difficulty controlling a pointing device.
Department of Blank Home Page
Contact the Department of Blank
Placing long lists of text-based links close together in rows or columns increases the probability of mouse errors for persons with mobility impairments. Use vertical lists of well spaced links whenever possible. Links listed horizontally or in a multicolumn fashion must be visually distinct and separated by vertical bars (|) or graphics with appropriate alternative text (e.g., | or *). Avoid enclosing links in brackets, braces, parentheses or other punctuation.
Mailto links are widely used to provide visitors with a quick and convenient method of sending feedback on a site or requesting information. However, it should not be assumed that clicking on a mailto link will cause an E-mail client to be launched automatically. Some systems may be incapable of this type of automated function, while others may simply not be set-up to do so. Use the E-mail address as the text for the mailto link.
The use of images as navigational controls can be a tremendous aid for visitors with learning disabilities, cognitive impairments and those whose native language is not that in which the page is presented. Select images carefully and provide a clear, complete and concise description in the ALT tag.
Alt="U of M Wordmark"
Alt="University of Minnesota, SystemWide Home Page"
Alt="Department of Blank Home Page"
Alt="Department of Blank, Calendar of Events"
It may be difficult or impossible for persons with some types of mobility impairments to use a mouse with enough precision to click on small controls. Use controls that are 36pt by 36pt in size or larger.
An image map is a single picture with multiple active regions, each of which take the user to a different page or location based on where they click within the image. There are two basic types of image maps: "client-side image maps" and "server-side image maps."
Client-side image maps allow both mouse and keyboard navigation. By specifying an appropriate ALT tag for each active region, a client-side image map functions like a series of links for users of adaptive technology, some hand-held devices, text-only browsers or a browser with picture loading disabled.
In contrast, server-side image maps do not allow keyboard navigation or the specifying of ALT tags for active regions. Include redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map in order to ensure access for visitors using adaptive technology, some hand-held devices, text-only browsers or a browser with picture loading disabled.
Completing on-line forms may be difficult or impossible for users of some screen-reader applications. Individuals with mobility impairments may have difficulty accessing some form controls, such as radio buttons and check boxes.
Field identifiers must appear to the left and on the same line as the field to which they refer. Do not use font styles, sizes, attributes, colors or other non-textual elements as the only means of indicating required fields and other form parameters. Legends for identifiers within the form (e.g., * = Required field) should appear prior to the form. Provide alternatives to completing on-line forms (e.g., E-mail, telephone, fax, postal mail, in-person) and clearly indicate that these alternatives are supported.
A text and/or audio description of the visual elements of a multimedia presentation must be available for users with visual impairments. Audio presentations must be accompanied by text captioning in order to provide access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Text alternatives for a multimedia presentation must be synchronized with the presentation. Providing captioning does not preclude
posting a transcript of the presentation that can be searched and/or downloaded. Remember: individuals, with or without a disability, may not have the equipment or software necessary to access multimedia presentations.
A number of proprietary file formats (e.g., PDF, QuickTime and Macromedia Shockwave) may be difficult or impossible to access for users of some adaptive technology. When presenting information using a proprietary file format, the following options must also be available:
- An alternative accessible format (e.g., HTML, text, RTF)
- A link to the appropriate plug-in
- A link to an accessibility plug-in or conversion site, if one is available
- Alternative means of obtaining the information contained in the file (e.g., E-mail, postal mail, telephone or in-person), if the nature of the information prohibits online presentation in an accessible format (e.g., maps or other pictorial information that cannot be adequately described in a text narrative of reasonable length).
Users may not possess the skills or utilities to extract archived files, such as .zip (Windows) and .sit (Macintosh). Provide self-extracting archives (i.e., .exe (Windows) and .sea (Macintosh) in order to avoid requiring users to possess a compression tool and/or knowledge regarding its use. Offer a choice of file types, including non-archive files, for download whenever possible.
Web Site Accessibility Resources
Camera Obscura — Designing Accessible Web Pages http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/weave.html#dawp
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) — Bobby 3.2 http://www.cast.org/bobby/
Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA) — Web Accessibility Tools
Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA) — Web Page Accessibility Resources http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/cita/wpa_text.htm
Computer Accommodations Program — Guidelines for Accessible Web Page Design http://cap.umn.edu/WebSiteAccessibility.html
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) — Web Design http://www.rit.edu/~easi/access.html
The Kragnes Korner — The Disability Depot http://www.users.qwest.net/~pkragnes/disabled.html
Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology — The WAVE 2.0 web page accessibility check http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/
University of Wisconsin TRACE Research & Development Center — Designing More Usable Web Sites http://www.trace.wisc.edu/world/web/
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) — Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) http://www.w3.org/WAI/
University Computer Accommodations Program
If you have questions regarding Web site accessibility or would like to have a page evaluated, please contact the University of Minnesota Computer Accommodations Program:
Philip M. Kragnes, Adaptive Technology Specialist
McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE, Suite 180
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2002
Phone: (612) 626-0365
Fax: (612) 626-9654
System of Technology to Achieve Results (STAR) Program
Ronna Linroth, Funding and Policy Specialist
658 Cedar Street, 360 Centennial Office Building
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 297-1554; 1-800-657-3862
Accessibility Checklist for Web Design
- Provide keyboard access to all functions of the Web site (i.e., keyboard equivalents for all mouse actions including, but not limited to, buttons, scroll windows, text entry fields and pop-up menus).
- The first screen (top) of a page must contain some explanatory text and must not be exclusively graphical.
- Graphics and images should be concrete representations for the destination of the link (e.g., an image of a house, rather than a blue square, for a "return to home page" button).
- Alternative text (alt tag) must be included for each graphic and image. (e.g., <IMG SRC="UpArrow.gif" ALT="Up Arrow"> [where UpArrow.gif is the picture of an upward pointing arrow] will result in the image of an upward pointing arrow being displayed for graphical browsers with image-loading enabled. The text "Up Arrow" will be presented in place of the image for graphics-capable browsers with image-loading disabled, text-only browsers or for anyone using a screen-reader.)
- Alternative text must be clear and informative.
- Avoid the use of transparent graphics for spacing, formatting or layout.
- Transparent graphics may be used to separate links listed horizontally.
- Transparent graphics may be used to separate major sections of a document.
- Appropriate alt text must be provided.
- The first occurrence of an acronym on a page must be preceeded by the full title to which the acronym refers (e.g., University of Minnesota (UMN)).
- Avoid the use of acronyms and abbreviations in link text.
- Use the ABBR and ACRONYM tags to provide expanded titles for acronyms and abbreviations When they cannot be avoided in link text.
- Do not use acronyms or abbreviations in an ALT tag.
- Provide a complete text description of the information presented in graphical tables and charts.
- Provide a decolumnized version or text description of text tables formatted as an X - Y matrix.
- Links must be clear, informative and able to stand alone.
- Do not use single word links.
- Use vertical lists of links whenever possible.
- Links listed horizontally should be separated by vertical bars (|) or graphics with appropriate alternative text (e.g., | or *).
- Links listed horizontally must be visually distinct and separated by approximately 0.5 inches or more.
- Avoid enclosing links in brackets, braces, parentheses or other punctuation.
- Avoid presenting information in a multi-column (newspaper style) format.
- Provide a decolumnized version (text-only option) when multiple column text cannot be avoided.
- Use graphical links that are 0.5 inch by 0.5 inch in size or larger.
- Use double spacing between items in a list of text-based links.
- Do not rely solely on font size, style or color to convey information.
- Information must remain accessible and clear when viewed at a variety (smallest to largest) of font sizes.
- Backgrounds and wallpaper should not be used to convey information.
- Avoid the use of frames.
- Provide a noframes and/or text-only version of pages when the use of frames cannot be avoided.
- Field identifiers must appear to the left and on the same line as the field to which they correspond in a form.
- Do not use font styles, sizes, attributes, colors or other non-textual elements to indicate required fields and other form parameters.
- Provide alternatives to completing on-line forms (e.g., E-mail, telephone, fax, postal mail, in-person) and clearly indicate that these alternatives are supported.
- Avoid the use of the HTML <ol> tag to create bulleted lists, when the number is to be referenced elsewhere in the document.
- Use an asterisk (*), a single letter (A) or single number(1) as the alternative text for graphical bullets.
- Do not use HTML constructs (tags) that are specific to (and only supported by) one Web Browser.
- Do not use blinking text or marquis.
- Present larger documents in smaller sub-units and offer complete versions for download.
- Offer a choice of file types for download.
- Provide self-extracting (.exe) archives for download instead of zip files.
- Provide open captioning or a complete text transcript for prerecorded audio/visual presentations.
- Use text descriptions to indicate real-time (streaming) media presentations.
- Provide a text narrative of the visual information/action in prerecorded audio/visual presentations.
- Do not use mouseovers in scrolling lists or other similar controls.
- Do not use mouseovers to send the user to a new page or otherwise move them from their current location.
- Provide a complete text-only alternative to pages that contain mouseovers used to pop-up additional menu items and/or expanded descriptions.
- Do not refresh pages automatically.