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Designing for Accessibility

Tips, tricks for Universal Design, Design for All

Site Checkers

These tools will help you be compliant with ADA / Section 508 / WCAG 2.0 so that all visitors to your web site can navigate it easily.

Using Assistive Technology

Screen Readers

  • Audio interface
  • Convert text into synthesized speech
  • Primarily use keyboard for navigation
  • May also be an option provided by a website, including some of our research databases
    • Look for an icon similar to:

How screen readers read web pages

  • Linear (left to right, top to bottom)
  • Users can use keyboard shortcut to skim through content


Use these applications to test how well the screen readers do on your website.

  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech) - Windows only; paid subscription
  • NVDA  (Non Visual Desktop Access) - Windows only; free download
  • Apple VoiceOver - built-in macOS and iOS app
  • ChromeVox - built-in Google Chromebook app
  • Narrator - built-in Windows app

There are many, many, many more options. Choose one that meets your needs and with a voice you life.

Navigation Without a Mouse

How to Test Keyboard Accessibility

  1. Unplug your mouse
  2. Use keyboard only
    • Tab key (Shift + Tab: go back a step) to navigate
    • Enter key to activate links, buttons
    • Esc key to cancel dialogs, menus

Touch Screens on Mobile Devices

Color Pickers

For accessibility, make sure that you color and font choices have high contrast ratios.


HTML and CSS Resources

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