Accessibility Guidelines

Create Accessible Web Sites

University of Idaho Web pages must be equally usable by people with or without disabilities. They must be compliant with state and federal laws, including section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended in 1998) regarding Web site accessibility to persons with disabilities ( This section of the Act requires agencies make their electronic information technology accessible to government employees and the public. This includes University of Idaho Web sites. UI Employees who develop or maintain college, departmental, unit, or individual faculty Web sites are responsible for reviewing sites periodically for accessibility issues and addressing those issues.

Many people with disabilities use assistive technology to enable them to use computers. Poorly designed Web sites can create unnecessary barriers for these individuals. Accessible Web site design recognizes that everyone does not access a Web page in the same way and does not require visitors to a Web site be able to see, hear, or use a standard mouse in order to access the information provided.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Web site accessibility, please email

Basic DOs and DON’Ts

Below is a list of common accessibility concerns Web designers address when creating Web pages.


Add ALT text tags to all images. Blind people and those with low vision often use assistive technologies such as screen readers. Adding an ALT text tag to each image detailing a text equivalent of the image enables a user with a vision disability to understand the information provided. UI Web sites using images should provide equivalent text for images that convey information by using the ALT tag. If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description. Also see WebAIM’s Alternative Text article.


Adding a method to skip over long lists of links can be helpful.


UI Web sites that use multimedia (i.e., presentations that include text, graphics, video, animation, and sound) should provide equivalent text and transcripts for the presentation.


UI Web sites using color to convey information should make sure the information is also represented another way.


UI Web sites should identify the functionality of any scripting languages (e.g., Java and JavaScript) used to display content or to create interface elements.

Applets & plug-ins

UI Web sites that use applets (i.e., programs designed to be executed from within another program) and plug-ins (i.e., programs that add features to a standard browser) should include links to external Web sites that provide such applets or plug-ins via download.


UI Web sites should allow for easy access to, and completion of, forms.

Cascading Style sheets (CSS)

If style sheets are ignored or unsupported, the pages should still be readable and usable.

Image Maps

UI Web sites should provide equivalent text for images (e.g., navigation bars) that perform functions when selected (e.g., open a new window, navigate through a site).


UI Web sites should provide row and column headers for data tables. This is not necessary for tables used for design purposes.


The use of frames can create accessibility issues and should be avoided when possible.


UI Web sites should not include motion such as animation that causes the screen to flicker outside an acceptable range (i.e., higher than 2Hz and lower than 55Hz).

Text-only pages

UI Web sites should offer links to the Adobe Acrobat Accessibility site to provide users with a tool for converting PDF files to HTML.


Accessibility Checkers

Tips & Tutorials


UI Disability Support Services

Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability. All accommodations must be approved through Disability Support Services located in the Idaho Commons Building.

UI Disability Support Services
Idaho Commons 306
P.O. Box 442537
Moscow, ID 83844-2537

Phone: (208) 885-6307(208) 885-6307