Create Accessible Web Content

These guidelines apply to any content you place on the web, including Word and PowerPoint documents, PDFs, web pages, video, and audio files.



  • Headings are properly nested and in order. Heading styles/tags (<H1>-<H6>) should be used for all headings - these may be set to specific styles in the content management system or application you use.
  • Do not use text formatting to achieve the appearance of headings. Conversely, do not use heading tags (<H1>-<H6>) to achieve visual results only, as they convey a hierarchy.
  • Do not use all uppercase text except for words and acronyms that require them.

Document Details

  • All PDFs that are for instructional purposes, internally shared, or publically available on the web need to be accessible.
  • The document title and language should be specified.
  • The document flows with a logical reading order - this ensures that a screen reader reads the page in the order it was intended and keyboard users can navigate the document properly using the tab key.
  • Scanned images of documents in PDF format without Optical Character Recognition (OCR) are not accessible.


  • Data tables should have a caption above or below the table.
  • Data tables should have headers (and no empty header cells).
  • Avoid spanned (merged) cells.
  • Use proportional sizing rather than absolute (% rather than a pixel/inch dimension).


Visual Content


  • All video materials need to be captioned at 95% accuracy or better; auto-generated captions are not sufficient (e.g. automated YouTube captions). Video with no spoken audio (background music only) is an exception and does not need to be captioned.
  • Audio and video do not play automatically.

Color & Imagery

  • Do not use color alone to convey meaning or information (for users who do not distinguish color differences). o Color-based information should be otherwise differentiated (e.g. a colored progress bar also shows percentage; "Click the blue Log-in button" is permissible when "Log-in" text also appears on the blue button and can be read by a screen reader).
  • Sufficient color contrast is present. Use a color contrast checker if unsure.
    • Exception: Purely decorative images (not conveying meaning) or parts of pictures that contain significant other visual content need not adhere to contrast guidelines.
  • All images must have alternative (alt) text. Alt text should be:
    • Accurate and provide an equivalent description of the image.
    • Succinct, although some more detailed graphics or diagrams may require a longer description.
    • Not redundant with surrounding text and does not use phrases such as "image of" or "picture of," etc.
  • Do not use text on images unless it is essential (and alt text is provided).
    • Exception: company logos and brand names may use text on images.

Audio Content

  • Audio files (i.e. podcasts) need to have a transcript. Timestamps are a recommended best practice. ¨ Do not permit audio files to play automatically.

External / 3rd Party Content

  • The instructor or web representative is responsible for ensuring that any external/3rd party content used in the course or website is accessible.
    • If the content is not accessible, the instructor or web representative is responsible for working with the student and the DRC to create an Equally Effective Alternative Access Plan (EEAP) upon request.
  • Third party videos that cannot be made accessible and must be used should only be linked, NOT embedded in a course or web page.
  • If leveraging 3rd party content with questionable accessibility, it is strongly encouraged that you include one of the following disclaimer statements:
    • This course may leverage 3rd party web/multimedia content, if you experience any issues accessing this content, please notify your instructor.
    • This web page may leverage 3rd party web/multimedia content, if you experience any issues accessing this content, please notify


Tools to Check Your Content

  • Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) - Free plugin for the Chrome web browser that checks webpages for accessibility issues. (
  • WebAIM Color Contrast Checker - Checks colors for sufficient contrast. (
  • PDF Accessibility Checker 2 (PAC2) - Free PDF accessibility checker. ( NOTE: Adobe Acrobat Pro also includes a PDF accessibility checker.
  • NVDA- Free screen reader application that allows a user to experience web pages the way a visually impaired user would. (

Resources for Assistance at the University

Resources by type of assistance or question
Type of Assistance/Question Contact
UNR Policy and Procedures UNR Accessibility Website (
Student Accommodation Needs Disability Resource Center (DRC) (
Questions or Assistance with Accessibility For assistance with accessibility, or to report an issue, please use the Accessibility Help Form (