Improve your website accessibility

By Antje Dun

A comprehensive list of tools, checklists and websites to improve your website accessibility, e,g, standards, colours, documents, design, images, etc. We start with an introduction to website accessibility, some quick guides and checklists. The resources that follow involve a deeper dive into specific important topics for you to take into consideration.

Chủ Đề Bài Viết: Accessibility là gì

Intro to website accessibility

To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. – United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in which Article 9

There are many reasons to improve your website accessibility including:

  • promote a positive reputation
  • it is the right thing to do
  • be inclusive, inclusive, inclusive
  • give fair and equitable access to and for everyone
  • it is our responsibility – Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • it will also improve your website’s quality and usability
  • reduce risk of being reported to the Human Rights Commission under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

To read and understand more about why website accessibility is important see these three links:

  • Why does my organisation need digital access? Centre for Accessibility
  • Making your website accessible, Australian Network on Disability
  • Videos of Web accessibility perspectives, W3C

About 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. That’s one billion people. Of those billion people, 285 million are visually impaired and may use a screen reader to access web content. – Mailchimp

Quick Guide

  • Do’s and don’ts on designing for accessibility – Posters, UK Government
  • User research, Online accessibility toolkit, Government of South Australia
  • Checklist for websites to assist with disability, Disability Services Commission, Western Australia (see pg. 3)
  • Document accessibility toolbar, Vision Australia
  • A list of selected and curated guides in Stark’s Public Library

Checklists & Cheatsheets

Three checklists to make it easy for you to improve the accessibility of your website.

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG- Checklist
  • Checklist for websites to assist with disability, Disability Services Commission, Western Australia (see pg. 3)
  • The Accessibility Cheatsheet, Bits of Code
  • Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide, Media Access Australia (see pg. 11)
  • List of checklists, Stark’s Public Library


Find out and test what colours are best suited for your website including text, backgrounds, colour contrasts keeping in line with good design.

  • Colour Safe, Color Safe
  • Colour Contrast Analyser, Vision Australia
  • ColourMap – Colour Blind Helper, Vision Australia
  • Colour Contrast Determinator (beta), Vision Australia

Customer support

It is good practice to have clear customer service contact information (include a phone number and email contact) so people who are seeking alternate formats, or have other accessibility issues with your site, can contact you. This is also a great way to get feedback about accessibility of your website.

Put an accessibility statement on your website to let people with disability know how your website works. Some examples:

  • Disability Services Australia – Accessibility Statement
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions ACTU – Accessibility Statement
  • Reach – Accessibility


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Learn accessible design practices and principles.

  • Do’s and don’ts on designing for accessibility – Posters, UK Government
  • Visual design, Online Accessibility Toolkit, Government of South Australia
  • Inclusive design toolkits and activities, Microsoft


Word documents, PDFs, Excel and presentations can be completely inaccessible for some. There are great tools that make your job easy such as the free Document Accessibility Toolbar for Microsoft Word by Vision Australia.

  • Document accessibility toolbar, Vision Australia
  • Creating accessible documents Word and PDF, Vision Australia
  • Microsoft Word Creating Accessible Documents, WebAim
  • Using the Acrobat X Pro Accessibility Checker, Adobe
  • Google docs and presentations, Google
  • Make your Excel documents accessible to people with disabilities, Microsoft


Creating accessible emails enables inclusion for everyone. Assistive devices use page elements to navigate web and email content. They support software to read text aloud.

For those living with disabilities, accessible content isn’t just about convenience, it’s about necessity. – Mailchimp

  • Email marketing guide – how to create accessible Electronic Direct Marketing (EDM) campaigns, Vision Australia
  • Accessibility in Email Marketing, MailChimp
  • Campaign Monitor Accessibility and Email guidelines, Campaign Monitor
  • Email resources and guides, Stark’s Public Library

Evaluation and Testing

Check your inaccessibility hotspots so you know what ‘website blocks’ you need to fix. Consider using tools such as the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE).

WAVE can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content. Our philosophy is to focus on issues that we know impact end users, facilitate human evaluation, and to educate about web accessibility. – WAVE

  • Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE), WebAIM
  • Google’s Accessibility Developer Tools (Chrome plugin), Google
  • Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT) (Internet Explorer plugin), Internet Explorer
  • MobiReady (mobile phones), Afilias Technologies


Images are used everywhere on the web and can be a major barrier when not accessible. The first step is to create alternative text, or Alt text, for each image. Alt text is a brief description of an image when a person cannot view an image. It is important as it gives context especially when images aren’t downloaded, it can be read by screen readers and helps with searching.

  • Image descriptions, Melbourne Fringe, Carly Findlay (includes social media)
  • How to write an image description, Alex Chen (includes describing race and gender)
  • Alternative text for images, WebAIM
  • 18F Accessibility Guide, US Government

Multi and social media

Videos can be delivered in ways that ensure that all members of the audience can access their content. An accessible video includes captions, a transcript, and audio description and is delivered in an accessible media player. Video transcripts are especially important for people with disability that impact hearing.

Quick ways you can improve social media include using #CamelCase for hashtags, limiting the use of emojis and providing alt text for images.

  • Youtube – Grab or Edit YouTube Captions, Subtitles, and Automatic Captions, DIY Captions, Youtube
  • Video captions, W3C
  • Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions, WebAIM
  • How to be more accessible on social media, Siteimprove

Representation of people with disability

Representation matters! Include diverse images, voiceovers, video and artwork that include people with disability. Invite artists, designers and photographers with disability to produce content for your website. Use the content mindfully and avoid tokenism.

  • Humaaans: A mix and match illustration opensource library, Humaaans
  • Where do I find images reflecting diversity? A list of photo libraries, Commons Library


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, published by W3C, are the most notable and comprehensive set of web accessibility guidelines in the world.

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Quick Reference – How to meet guidelines by W3C, W3C
  • Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) overview, W3C

Tables and Forms

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Tables and forms can be a major stumbling block for screen readers and can make no sense at all. The first rule is – the simpler, the better.

  • Creating accessible tables, WebAim
  • Accessible table builder, Accessify
  • Tables, W3C
  • Forms, W3C


Just over 4 in 10 (41%) working-age people with disability are permanently unable to work because of their condition(s), and some who do work do not have adequate income. – People with disability in Australia 2019: in brief, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.

This can often mean that people with disability do not have or are able to afford the latest technology. Accessing your website from an older computer and mobile phone may not be possible due to the earlier versions of operating systems. Keep this in mind when adding new whizz-bang website features that might not work on older technology when upgrading. One way to address this issue is to keep the functionality of your website running with earlier versions.

Understandable Information

Consider how easy the information on your website is to understand, especially for people with intellectual disability. Easy English is a style of writing that has been developed to provide understandable, concise information for people with low English literacy, including people with intellectual disability and people from a Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background.

Did you know that 44% of Australian adults have difficulty reading and writing? – Scope Australia

  • Plain language fact sheet, Scope Australia
  • Examples of Easy English, People with a Disability Australia
  • Examples of Easy English, Scope Australia
  • The Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide, Media Access Australia
  • Mailchimp Accessibility Content Guide – Writing for accessibility, Mailchimp

User Research / Testing

Don’t forget to ask and test with the users themselves.

  • User research, Online accessibility toolkit, Government of South Australia
  • Accessibility Personas: This website documents how you can set up a device or browser so that each persona with different access needs has their own profile. Each profile has a different simulation of their persona’s condition and runs the assistive technology they use to help them.

Using Inclusive Language and Disability Etiquette

Using the right language will engage a broader audience. Don’t use language that a person with disability would find offensive.

Language is a key ingredient in a winning theory of change. Language can build bridges and change minds. By acknowledging the ability of language to shape and reflect reality, progressive campaigns can become more powerful vehicles for social change, inclusion, and justice. In fact, understanding and applying the authentic language of the individuals and communities with whom we work can be a revolutionary act in itself. – A Progressive’s Style Guide, Sum of Us

  • A Progressive’s Style Guide, Sum of Us
  • Framing Matters: Are You Inadvertently Harming the People You Hope to Serve with the Language You Use? Prosper Strategies
  • Inclusive Language Guide, Flinders University
  • UQ Guide to using inclusive language, University of Queensland

If you know of any other great tips, tools and/or websites please contact us. This list was developed in collaboration with Krysia Birman from the Australian Network on Disability.

Please note the Commons Social Change Library is reviewing our website and email newsletter in line with the recommendations in this article. You’ll notice that this article doesn’t match a number of recommendations yet – such as using a low contrast colour for links and quotes in this article. Follow the recommendations, not our current example!

Please contact us if you have any suggestions and/or feedback.

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  • Communications & Media
  • Digital Campaigning
  • Diversity & Inclusion

Collection: Tags:

  • Communication
  • Framing
  • Graphic design
  • Inclusivity
  • People with disabilities
  • Social media
  • Websites

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