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Slidedeck for “Website Accessibility: The Basics”

Presented to the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits on  March 29, 2022.


View a PDF handout with slides and speaker notes. 

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Priority Accessibility Features

Low-Hanging Fruit – The Changes with the Most Impact

Content Organization

Organizing the content into readable sections with appropriate headings that will allow for a browser to easily interpret the content.

Alt Text on Images

Adding alternative text on non-decorative images  that appropriate describe the image so a screen reader can read the content.

Color Contrast

Having an appropriate amount of color between the text and the background so that text is easily readable.

Tab Navigation

The ability to fully navigate a webpage using only the keyboard using tab and enter keys.

Video Captions

Ensuring that all videos have appropriate captions.


Content Organization

HTML and Hierarchy

Sample of different Heading styles including H1, H2, H3, and H4.

This is a sample of the different styled headings for this website. Each website will have a stylesheet that will style these headings differently using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). 

This is normal paragraph text.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus vestibulum nisi non neque hendrerit, vitae vulputate tortor vestibulum. Suspendisse potenti. Morbi cursus est vitae dui blandit pharetra. Praesent consequat quis urna a ultrices. Pellentesque malesuada est at tempor pretium. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc nec augue massa. Cras in ultricies purus. Quisque vitae luctus diam. Quisque risus orci, lobortis vitae magna a, mattis molestie urna. Maecenas posuere ac eros sit amet consectetur.

This is a sample of the standard paragraph font style for this website. The stylesheet for the website will also style these headings differently using CSS.

It is important to keep the hierarchy in order

Sample screenshot of headings used incorrectly and out of order H2, H4, H1


Use the headings in the correct order going both up and down the heirarchy. If style is a factor in choosing the heading, a heading style can be changed. 

Use Block Quotes When Appropriate

Sample Block Quote

Sample screenshot of a block quote using a random meaningless quote for the purpose of showing style

Block Quotes

The website’s stylesheet will have a specific style, sometimes with color accents. that show quotes. These are known as blockquotes and are helpful to use when quoting someone.

Additional Writing Tips


Accents on letters

Accents on letters are important to help the screen reader pronounce words correctly.



Any abbreviation should only be used after it is first spelled out in its entirety and then the abbreviation is put in parenthesis immediately behind the full spelling. 


Language Changes

It is important to note any language changes in your writing. 


Avoid describing shape or color

Avoid phrases like “Click the green button below”. This is detrimental to non-sighted or color-blind users. 


Avoid line breaks and justification

Unnecessary line breaks and justification can make text hard to read. 


Avoid “Click here” or “Learn More” for links

A page can have numerous “Click here” words or “Learn More”. Instead say something like, “View All Upcoming Events” or “Learn About Our Course”. 


Alt Text on Images

Sample Image

Person typing on a computer wearing a black shirt with the WordPress logo

Alt Text field of the Sample Image

Screenshot of the alt text field in the back end of WordPress showing how to add Alt Text

Tips for Writing Alt Text


Relevant to Content

In this situation, the T-shirt that the persion is wearing is notable and worth mentioning because it is a WordPress logo and we talk about WordPress websites. So it is worth noting the shirt. In other instances, it may not be worth mentioning the clothing. 


Repeating Text

If the image has text on the image that is repeated in text nearby on the site, DO NOT put that text in the alt text because the screenreader will read it twice. 


Decorative Images

Each image with the exception of decorative only images needs alternate text (alt text) to describe what the image about.


An image of

Don’t say “an image of”. It gets reptitive. It is assumed that this is an image. However, it is acceptable to say, “a screenshot, or illustration, or professional headshot” because those describe the type of image and give the user an idea of what the image is. 


In Summary

Be descriptive, yet as concise as possible. Also think about what it would sound like if a screen reader was reding this to you.


Color Contrast

A tale of two buttons.

screenshot of a small click here button that is not accessible

This button above is a screenshot of a button. It is not a clickable button. 

screenshot of a larger click here button where the font is larger and the contrast is higher.

This button above is a screenshot of a button. It is not a clickable button. 

Doesn’t Meet WCAG-AA

screenshot showing the color contrast level not acceptable for website accessibility


Screenshot showing a color contrast score with good website accessibility

Tab Navigation

All websites should allow a user to fully navigate the site on a keyboard without using a mouse. This means that all dropdowns are accessible by “tabbing” through the site.

WARNING – A common issue is pop-ups where the pop-up is unable to be closed with a keystroke and requires. mouse click.

A screenshot of a computer screen with arrows demonstrating tab navigation

Video Captions

Live captioning services by a professional company is always the gold standard, especially with events. There are other options. as well, including some that you may already have. in your toolkit.

  • Zoom has expanded the automated live captioning services to all free accounts. This article explains how to enable this feature.
  • YouTube also supports autocaptioning. View this article for more help.



Otter.ai is an artificial intelligence technology that converts speech to text. There are various plans available starting at around $9.00 a month if you pay annually. 


Offers video captioning service for $1.50 per minute. 


Webcaptioner.com is a free service that offers live captioning through a browser window on your computer using the microphone. Simply play the video and it will caption what it hears. This service is built and supported by a community of individuals committed to accessibility.

Tools and Accessibility Resources

Accessibility Resources

The A11y Project

The A11Y Project is a community-driven effort to make digital accessibility easier. Their color contrast evaluation tool is particularly helpful. 


WebAim is an excellent resource for training and technical assistance regarding website accessibility.

Adding Images to Websites Blog Post

This two-part blog post gives a lot of information about adding alt-text and preparing images for your website.


The mission of UsableNet is to make the digital world more accessible and usable. We aim to make websites, apps, and other digital platforms more accessible, inclusive, and user-friendly for everyone. 

WCAG Guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has three levels of compliance. Learn more about what is involved with A, AA, and AAA levels of compliance.

Able Player

A cross-browser video player that can be installed on your website and offers many accessible features. 

Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Insights for the Web

Accessibility Insights is a browser extension tool that conducts a scan and shows accessibility issues on a site.

WordPress - Accessibility Plugin

For those using WordPress, you can find this plugin on the WordPress plugin Repository. 

Divi Users - Accessibility Plugin

For those using Divi, you can download a helpful plugin directly from Github that helps improve the accessibility features of the Divi theme. 

Wave Tool (Firefox and Chrome Extension)

Wave is a extension that can be added to Firefox and Chrome that will test a web page for accessibility issues including color contrast.

Tota11y Bookmark

An accessibility visualization toolkit created by Khan Academy. This can be saved as a bookmarklet into your bookmarks on your browser by just dragging the button into your bookmarks.

Color Tools

Accessible Color Matrix

This tool lets you enter the hex code of your color palette and see how many accessible color combinations you have using your color palette. This is a great tool for designers and brand creators. 

Image Color Picker

Image Color picker is an online tool that allows you to upload images and pull together color palettes. 

Color Lovers

Color lovers is a website that allows you to browse many different color palettes and to create, save and share color palettes you create. This is a free resource that requires you to log in. 

Hex Color Tools

Hex Color Tools is a site that lets you enter a hex color code and then show darkened or lightened shades of the same color as well as show complementary colors.

Color Picker Extension

Color Picker is an extension that can be added to Firefox and Chrome that will open a small window under your mouse and allow you to see the hex color code of the color on your website.

Accessible Colors

A website that allows you to add your current color foreground and background and it will suggest colors that match closely that will give meet the AA or AAA WCAG guidelines.

A11y Rocks

A very similar color palette accessibility tool that lets you visualize your color combinations and gives you the actual color contrast of each combination. 

HTML Color

HTML Color is another site that helps with identifying the hex color codes.

Just Released

screenshot of the department of justice memo on web accessibility

US Department of Justice Web Accessibility Guidelines

The US Department of Justice released new guidelines on March 18, 2022.  These guidelines reiterated the following quote.

“…the Department has consistently taken the position that the ADA’s requirements apply to all the goods, services, privileges, or activities offered by public accommodations, including those offered on the web.”


The complete guidelines under the ADA website call out the following barriers to website accessibility.

  • Poor Color Contrast
  • Use of color alone to give information
  • Lack of “alt text”
  • No captions on videos
  • Inaccessible online forms
  • Mouse-only navigation (no tab-through/keyboard navigation)



The guidelines uses the American Disabilities Act (ADA) definitions of who is required to follow. Title II includs State and local governments and Title III applies to Business that are open to the public.


Resources – Misc. 

Our Blog

RadiateWP blog has some useful blog posts published with more on the way.


WordCamps are a great resource for meeting people in your local WordPress Community.


You can find many meetups available on Meetup.com. The AZ WordPress Meetup has a membership of over 2,750 members across the state, and nationally. We are currently meeting through Zoom and offer monthly meetups on the topic of WordPress covering a wide range of topics. Not only is this a great networking opportunity, but a good way to collaborate and learn new things with one another.

RadiateForGood is a specialized service offered by RadiateWP that specializes in the nonprofit sector. Our monthly service handles all of your WordPress website needs. With one of our management plans, you can rely on our team to handle all of your WordPress support. We offer various packages from the starter package up to a monthly plan that offers unlimited support.