What makes a website accessible?

Making a website accessible is an ongoing process.

In order to be truly effective, accessibility must be integrated into every stage of a website's lifespan, from planning and development to content editing and quality control. Everyone involved in creating or maintaining a website can help remove barriers by learning about the issues that make websites inaccessible. Always remember that an accessible website needs to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust enough to be used by a variety of user agents, including assistive technology.

This section of the website provides a general overview of the different types of web content that you can improve while making your website accessible. Under the "What to Fix" menu, you will find information about fixing each type of web content, including images, audio, video, and documents.

Please be aware that this website does not provide information on all web accessibility issues. More importantly, it is not a replacement for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and cannot be used to verify conformance with the WCAG 2.0.

Tips for Getting Started

Before your website is designed, developed or built:

  • Communicate the required AODA standards to everyone involved in creating or maintaining the website.
  • Ensure that everyone is aware of the Level A and Level AA success criteria of the WCAG 2.0.

During the design phase:

  • Use a colour-contrast tool to ensure perceivable text and images.
  • Ensure that design prototypes include accessible headings, lists, UI controls, error states, and state changes (e.g. hover)

During the development phase:

  • Test early and often for accessibility issues on multiple browsers.
  • Ensure that all page types, features, and functionality are tested for accessibility.
  • Use a combination of manual and automated testing techniques when verifying conformance with the WCAG 2.0.
  • Aim to make a webpage more accessible than the technical standard requires.

After your website is published:

  • Train content editors to publish accessible web content.
  • Ensure that content editors have a consistent workflow that facilitates the publication of accessible web content.
  • Review your website to determine areas that include redundant, outdated, or trivial (ROT) content.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not leave accessibility testing until the end of the development phase.
  • Avoid publishing anything that has not been tested for accessibility.
  • If there is a team involved, do not assume that accessibility is the responsibility of just one person. 

External Resources

Planning Accessibility - Web Experience Toolkit (WET)

Accessibility Responsibility Breakdown - Web Experience Toolkit (WET)