Design for Accessibility - Web Style Guide

Review this information and the related information in the Web Center. Contact Ohlone's Alternate Media Specialist in the Adaptive Technology Center for information about making your instructional materials accessible to all people.

  • Ensure the accessibility of each page by all site visitors by following recommended web accessibility coding techniques. More about Accessibility.

  • Validate all pages to the Section 508 Guidelines. More about Validation.

  • Do not use HTML frames on the Ohlone College web pages. There are problems with printing, bookmarking, emailing links, and search engines with pages designed using frames. There are also accessibility issues for the disabled.

    Web pages currently using HTML frames must be redesigned to not use HTML frames or must be modified to comply with recommended accessibility guidelines for HTML frames use. More about Accessibility.

  • Do not make pages automatically refresh using a META tag or other method. This can confuse screen reader programs and other assistive technologies. Instead, include a paragraph in the body of the web page explaining that the page has moved and providing a link to the new page.

  • Versions of Flash up to 5 do not have built-in accessibility features. Adobe (formerly Macromedia) has provided accessibility work-arounds and related information for Flash 5 and its other software on its website. Macromedia Flash MX includes accessibility features. Creators/designers of Flash movies must use those features to make their movies as accessible as possible.

  • Online videos must be captioned (preferred) or accompanied by a text transcript. Contact Ohlone's Alternate Media Specialist in the Adaptive Technology Center for information.

  • If music used on a web page is important to the content of the page, the music should be accompanied by a text transcript describing the music.

  • Do not automatically begin playing music when a web page is loaded. Instead, offer the site visitor the ability to turn on the music if they want to hear it, as well as the ability to turn it off again. Remember, sounds are unwelcome in some environments, especially for site visitors in public areas (libraries, shared offices, etc.).

  • Do not automatically begin a video when a web page is loaded. Instead, offer the site visitor the ability to start the video when they want to, as well as the ability to stop it.

  • Refer to the information in the Adobe PDF Files page for requirements for Adobe Acrobat PDF files and other non-HTML files.

  • Do not use popup windows or open new windows (such as with the "target" attribute or with JavaScript) without providing a clear indication that the page will open in a different window. Provide a title attribute on the anchor tag with a description indicating that the link opens a new window; for example: is a great online bookstore (new window).

    <a href="" target="_blank" title="Link opens in new window."> is a great online bookstore (new window).</a>

  • Do not use popup windows except where absolutely necessary. Do not open more than one popup window at a time. Provide a "Close Window" button or link on the page inside the popup window. Do not use a JavaScript command in the href attribute of the anchor tag; instead, use the method described in this article Links & JavaScript Living Together in Harmony.

    If they must be used, popup windows must open at a width and height that fits inside a 640x480 monitor resolution (so, no larger than 500x350). The popup window should include the status bar and scroll bars, and should be resizeable unless you are absolutely sure that the user can never resize the content of the window to be larger.

  • It is acceptable to open a new window for links to the following types of files on the Ohlone College domain as long as you include the title attribute on the anchor tag indicating that a new window will be opened (as explained above):

    • Adobe PDF files
    • Microsoft Word files
    • Microsoft Excel files
    • Microsoft PowerPoint files

Any questions about other document types and the popup/new window restriction should be directed to the Web Team. More information about Accessibility is available in the Web Center.