StaffGuide: LibApps Guide

Guidance and tips for creating and maintaining your content

Overall Accessibility Guidelines

Making your LibGuides content accessible benefits everyone: people with or without disabilities.The following list provides suggestions for accessibility practices that will make your content more user-friendly.


  • Use clear fonts:
    • Don't mix different font types. Stick to the default font which has been tested for legibility.
    • When pasting from Word or Teams, use the clear formatting tool (Tx) to remove extra unneeded styles, fonts, etc.
    • Avoid the use of  color for emphasis; screen readers cannot "see" this emphasis and you may unwittingly create a contrast issue with nonstandard colors.
      • Instead use italics for emphasis 
    • Don't use underlines for emphasis. Users will think an underline is a hyperlink.
      • Instead use italics for emphasis 
    • Use real text rather than text within graphics.
  • Use headings and lists appropriately.Headings, lists, and other structural elements provide meaning and "browseability" to web pages. They can also facilitate keyboard navigation within the page. Avoid using h2, h4, h5 etc just for styling.
  • Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning or importance.That information may not be available to a person who is colorblind and it will be unavailable to screen reader users.
  • Ensure proper contrast between the font and the background. Optimize font color use for readability and accessibility.
  • Make sure your content is clearly written and easy to read. Get more tips on writing clearly and simply.

Graphics, Table and Links

  • All Images need to have alternate text (ALT tags) included. Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content (such as graphics or images). It is especially helpful for people who rely on a screen reader to have the content of the website read to them. Learn more about providing appropriate alternative text.
  • Provide text for Infographics.  Inforgraphics are visually engaging, but have a lot of text in image form.  This text is often too long for an Alt tag.  Consider providing a text box with the content of your infographic.
  • Tables should have appropriate table headers. Data cells should be associated with their appropriate headers, making it easier for screen reader users to navigate and understand the data table. Learn more about creating accessible tables.
  • Make sure linked text makes sense out of context. Screen reader users may choose to read only the links on a web page. Certain phrases like “click here” and “more” should be avoided.

Media and Other non-HTML Content

  • Ensure captions and/or transcripts are available for media. For guidelines and resources to create video caption and transcripts, see Video Captioning Resources from ARL's Web Accessibility Toolkit.
  • Ensure accessibility of non-HTML content. If you cannot make it accessible, consider using HTML instead or, at the very least, provide an accessible alternative. Learn more about creating accessible Word documents and creating accessible PDF files.

Sources: This list comes from WebAIM’s Principles of Accessible Design. This list does not present all accessibility issues, but by addressing these basic principles, you will ensure greater accessibility of your LibGuides content to everyone. You can learn more about accessibility at
List courtesy of University of Illinois Library.


Thanks to the University of Illinois Library Office of Information Literacy for permission to re-use elements of their guide, "Getting Started with LibGuides."