Guidelines for Accessible Web Design / Maintenance

It is essential to ensure that your websites are accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to all staff and students.

When designing / maintaining websites ensure you:

Designing your site:

  • Consider accessibility from the very beginning
  • Use consistent navigation
  • Use a range of media on your webpages
  • The use of multimedia can produce an accessible browsing experience for users with a variety of disabilities and a variety of preferred learning styles
  • Where multimedia is used, ensure information is available for those who cannot access that medium. For example, you can have alt text on images, or you can have a textual or sound file alternative describing an animation
  • Seek feedback from users regarding accessibility

Accessibility Testing:

Do some or all of the following:

  • Ask potential user who may experience problems to check your site for accessibility (e.g. visually impaired, colour blind or dyslexic users).
  • View your site through a text reader,
  • View your site with a screen reader,
  • View the site under different conditions (e.g. using different web browsers),
  • Run an automatic accessibility validation tool,
  • Commission an accessibility audit.

Everyday Web Maintenance:


  • Use simple language.
  • Avoid dense text.
  • Ensure all uploaded documents are accessible.
  • Give the size of files (e.g. Word, 55kb)


  • Include alt text for images and AV.
  • Use longdesc for more complex images and AV.

Colour contrast

  • Avoid pure black on pure white.
  • Avoid navigation that relies on colour (e.g. click green button for yes, red for no).


  • Apply headings consistently.
  • Do not skip heading levels.

Tables and forms

  • Format to be accessible.


  • Make hyperlinks meaningful (more than 'click here).
  • Regularly review your hyperlinks and fix any that are broken.

Useful Links

TCD Web Office Accessibility Guidelines