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WVU is required to have Web pages and Web applications that are accessible for the disabled according to Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Below are links that will give you more information about accessibility. Use our accessibility checklist.

Web pages must be checked for accessibility before you make the site live.

University Relations has purchased SiteImprove for various academic and student-related sites. SiteImprove runs checks every five days on quality assurance (spelling and links) and accessibility on selected websites.

If your unit is not enrolled with SiteImprove, use a validation tool to test for accessibility.


All multimedia (both audio and video) must have captioning. WVU uses YouTube for video, which provides automated closed captioning. That said, YouTube's automated closed captioning is far from perfect. Be sure to appropriately caption your videos when uploading them to YouTube. Punctuation, capitalization, and correct grammar must be used.


WVU’s content management systems, Slate, automatically populates the file name of the graphic into the alt text box, but you should provide a short description of the purpose of the graphic. CleanSlate requires that you insert customized alt text for each image on your site.

Following is information that developers should consider when creating Web pages in regard to accessibility.


The Document Object Model is a platform—a language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents.

  • Consider someone limited only to using the keyboard or assistive technology.
  • Semantic markup: consider HTML5 tags
  • Look at tab order. Consider tabindex attribute. Use :active & :focus pseudo-classes.
  • Add a skip link on the page to avoid repetitive navigation.
  • Every page needs an
    and can only have one
    The other headings need to follow in logical order.
  • The use of color can enhance comprehension, but do not use color alone to convey information.
  • Consider color contrast. Use this contrast checker.

WAI-ARIA roles (Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications)

  • Role is an attribute used with an element to enable it to be focused.
  • The Role provides a quick way for those limited to a keyboard to access different areas of the DOM.
  • Some common roles are navigation, article, search, main and button.


  • The alt attribute text should describe the purpose of the image, not the appearance, with a short, concise description. Slate, WVU’s content management system, automatically populates the file name of the graphic into the alt text box, but you should provide a short description of the purpose of the graphic.
  • You can have null or empty alt tags for images that don’t convey message, but it will cause on error on the validation tests.
  • Do not use important images for backgrounds.
  • The longdesc attribute links to another page of text that describes the image. This attribute is often used for describing graphs and charts.