Ideal Website Accessibility

This page will demonstrate the ideal use of content on a page. This will help you understand how a screen reader voices content. After you hear it read the page, take a moment to think about how you write. Are you writing shorter or longer sentences? Are you using headings and lists for accessibility? Are you keeping links from disrupting paragraph text? What else seems better written for accessibility or could use improvement?

Try a screen reader

JAWS is the most commonly used screen reader. It is available for personal computer (PC). Payment options and more information can be found on the Freedom Scientific site.

JAWS screen reader for a PC - learn more on the Freedom Scientific site

If you work on a PC, you can use the NVDA screen reader to fully understand what works best and what doesn't work as well when writing a page for accessibility.

NVDA screen reader for a PC - download from NV access

If you work on a Macintosh computer (Mac), you can use VoiceOver which is standard on more current operating systems.

VoiceOver for Mac - read more on the Apple website

Create an accessibility editing checklist

You might add a checklist of the following to help you edit your content.

  1. Do my headings help readers navigate in the page?
  2. Can I create short phrase lists or numbered lists?
  3. Are accordions or tabs helpful or confusing?
  4. Are images using helpful alternative text?

Consider all forms of accessibility

While this page focuses on reading a page for text, consider these other needs.

  • Black and white contrast for color limitations.
  • Auditory description of all text that appears in video.
  • Transcripts for audio files.

The following links include more information on this page about each of these topics.

Visual differences in color

Some people see colors differently. It's important to think about how color appears for everyone. Consider using a color palette that works well in black and white.

Red and green blindness

Red & green blindness is the most common type of limitation to color spectrum sight. However, it includes four variations.

Blue and yellow blindness

Blue and yellow blindness is a less common type of limitation to color spectrum sight. It includes two variations.


Monochromacy is when someone sees color only as black and white. Although it is rare, it may include other differences in sight perception.

Types of color blindness - read more on the National Eye Institute site

Use speech for all visuals

Screen readers can read text on pages. However, text in video is unreadable. Be sure the speaker says all the text that appears in a video. If you share imagery in the video, the same message should be shared through speech.

Choosing the best narrator voice - read on the Bunny Studio site

Tips on audio and video narration for e-learning - read on the I Spring site

Use transcripts for search

Even though people who use screen readers can hear what's being said in audio and video, search engines can not. Consider putting transcripts on the same page as audio and video files. This can help people find your audio and video content better when searching.

3 reasons why you need video transcription - read on 3 Play Media site

7 ways to transcribe audio and video content for quick SEO benefits - read on Search Engine People site

Events page on the National Rural Knowledge Exchange website.
photo provided by National Rural Knowledge Exchange Flickr account.

Websites are a great way to connect to people, since you can deliver a lot of information through well written web pages.

Legal liability for inaccessibility

Be careful and make sure you write with accessibility in mind. It can become a legal issue and cost organizations a lot.