How to Make Pages Accessible

This checklist will help you make your web site useful, and compliant with accessibility rules that apply to the Health Science Center:

arrow  Applets and plug-ins Provide alternate content for applets and plug-ins that are not accessible. Details
arrow  Cascading style sheets Make sure pages are readable without a style sheet.
arrow  Color and contrast Color coding cannot be the sole means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response or distinguishing a visual element. Allow sufficient contrast between text and backgrounds so words are easily read. Color/contrast details
arrow  Dates Post the date of the latest update for each page.
arrow  Disclaimer Choose the appropriate university disclaimer and post it in the footer of your pages:

  1. Links provided from UTHSCSA pages to other web sites do not constitute or imply an endorsement of those sites, their content, or products and services associated with those sites.

  2. Material and links provided by UTHSCSA are for informational purposes only. Health information provided is not meant to take the place of advice and care from your personal physician. For help with specific health problems you may be experiencing, please contact your physician who can properly evaluate your medical condition.

  3. Additional material is provided to assist potential students, faculty, employees, researchers, and others seeking information about UTHSCSA. Please call for the latest, most accurate information.
arrow  E-mail Post the name or e-mail address of the person responsible for the web site in the footer of your pages.
arrow  Flicker In designing pages, avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
arrow  Forms
  • Add a link to the Health Science Center web privacy policy on any form. The URL:
  • Provide a secure-socket layer session for forms or web pages that transact payments, require a user's identification code and password, or require a user to supply her or his name and personal information such as a Social Security number.
  • Design any online form so people using assistive technology can access the form's information, its field elements, and any functionality required to complete and submit the form.
arrow  Frames
  • Provide a title and name for each frame so users may track their location.
  • Drop frames when a user follows a link to a separate web site.
  • Provide a <noframes> version for browsers that don't read frames.
arrow  Graphics and photos Summarize content in <alt> tags.
arrow  Identity Name the entity responsible for the web site in the footer of the site's pages.
arrow  Image maps Use <alt> tags with each "hot spot" on client-side maps; use equivalent text for server-side maps. Image map details
arrow  Images and animation Supply <alt> tags. The tag summarizes content of the item so users with audio browsers hear what the image shows.
arrow  Links Add a link to the university homepage and web site's sponsor in the footer of the site's pages.
arrow  Meta tags Four tags are required. Place them after <title> and before you close <head>. Example:

  • Title: Main listing of your page. Use the page's own title if it is descriptive:

    <meta name="title" content="Web Design, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio" />

  • Contents: Summary of information on the page:
    <meta name="description" content="Main page listing departments at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio" />

  • Keywords: Words or descriptive phrases in the page that search engines read:
    <meta name="keywords" content="dentistry,medicine,nursing" />

  • Author: State's name plus the institution's name. Author, department or school may be added:
    <meta name="author" content="State of Texas,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio" />
arrow  Multimedia Provide captions or transcripts of audio and video content. Multimedia details
arrow  Scripts Provide a <noscript> alternative for scripts that generate content that may not be understood by some browsers. This includes mouseover functions in JavaScript. Script details
arrow  Search box Add a search box on the first page of a site. Contact your web server administrator or the university webmaster for the correct code.
arrow  Skip navigation This tag lets users with audio browsers skip menus to get to the page's main content. This method positions the link -3000 pixels off the left margin so it is unseen by visual browsers. In the page <body>, add the line:
<div class="navskip"><a href="#navskip">Skip Navigation</a></div>
Immediately before the main content of the page, add:
<a name="navskip"></a>
And add this to the stylesheet:
.navskip { position:absolute;
arrow  Tables Data tables need row and column headers with a unique ID tag at the top of each column. Each cell that corresponds to the header needs a <header> attribute linking it the unique ID so users with audio browsers are not confused about header-to-data relationships. Tables for layout only need no headers. Table details
arrow  Text-only page Create a text-only page to accompany any page that cannot comply with standards. Keep both pages updated.
arrow  Timed response When a timed response is required, the user needs to be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
arrow  Title Make sure each page has a title. The title appears in the blue bar atop the browser, and helps search engines index your page. Place it directly after your <head> tag.
arrow  Validate Validate your pages to Section 508 standards with a validator such as WAVE, the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. These online validators are free: WAVE or Cynthia Says
   -- Special thanks to the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center for some of the explanations on this page.