In addition to the recommendations described throughout the Web Guide, the Web Standards Group also provides the following general guidelines for addressing accessibility on your websites.

Help Users Navigate

Ensure that your website is easy for your users to navigate by establishing a clearly-defined information architecture and providing straightforward mechanisms for users to navigate within this architecture, including search engines and site outlines.

Furthermore, ensure that users can easily orient themselves within the structure of the website using techniques such as labeling the current section and using breadcrumb navigation.

Design for Device Independence

Your page should not depend on the user using a specific type of device. In other words, your page should be navigable by mouse, keyboard, voice, touch, and head wand. Elements that appear only upon mouse-over, for example, are usually inaccessible to people using screen readers. In general, any page that can be navigated via keyboard can also be navigated by voice or screen reader.

Avoid Time-Sensitive Content Changes

Avoid time-sensitive content changes or allow users to control the timing of these changes. For example, if your website features an image carousel that cycles through several images, provide options for users to pause or slow down the transition between images.

If your website must include time-sensitive content changes without user controls, provide ample time for the user to engage with the content. As a general rule: 20 seconds for every line of text.

Similarly, avoid moving content around the page unless users can control the movement of the content.

Don’t Use Pop-up Windows

Do not use “pop-up” windows, or separate, modal browser windows that are opened by the current page. They inhibit screen reader’s ability to read the desired active screen. Furthermore, most modern browsers automatically block the display of these windows.

Prefer HTML Over Non-HTML Documents

Always prefer HTML web pages over non-HTML document formats, like PDF files or Microsoft Word files. These file formats often can’t be viewed natively within a browser, forcing the user out of your website and into an alternate viewer.

Furthermore, making these alternate file formats accessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies often requires a completely separate approach than HTML documents, complicating your website’s accessibility maintenance.

If you must use a PDF, ensure that your PDF is accessible using Adobe’s PDF accessibility guidelines.

Consistent Page Layout

Your website should feature a consistent page layout with page elements, like navigation and main content areas, appearing in the same location and featuring the same format across your website.

Clear, Simple Language

Content within your website should be written in clear, simple language.


In general, your website should not require the use of plug-ins or extensions not already present in a browser.

If your website does require a plug-in or extension, provide a link to download that component near the content that requires it.

CSS Speech

Use the CSS Speech properties to control how text on a web page is read via assistive technologies, like screen readers, including volume, balance, timing, and more.

Ensure Media is Accessible

When including multimedia, such as videos or interactive presentations, on your website, ensure that media is accessible to all of your users. For example, all videos should include captions for deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

Use ARIA Attributes

ARIA attributes should be used to provide guidance to assistive technologies on how to parse your website.

Printable Alternatives

Make sure that your page content prints appropriately. Test by printing and, if necessary, provide a printable alternative.


There’s no reason to exclude anybody, especially since it’s relatively easy to avoid doing so. Not only will your users thank you, but you’ll also likely see benefits in the form of increased traffic and conversions