“Development of information systems flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest range of users …regardless of age or disability”

Principles of Accessibility - WCAG 2.0

Information on your site must be:

  • Perceivable – available through sight, hearing or touch
  • Operable - compatible with keyboard or mouse
  • Understandable - User-friendly, easy to comprehend
  • Robust - Works across browsers, devices, assistive technologies

Is your site only WCAG compliant?

Your site might be WCAG compliant, but still inaccessible. If people can’t get information, they may very well take their healthcare business elsewhere resulting in:

  • Lost hospital admissions
  • Lost ER visits
  • Lost patient visits for practices
  • Lost surgery center visits
  • Lawsuits

The main categories of disabilities affected by Internet accessibility barriers are...


Hard of hearing


Color blind


Inability to use a mouse
Slow response time
Limited fine motor control

Accessibility Best Practices - Do's and Dont's

Use headings properly

No more than 1 h1 on a page unless using section's and article's for additional h1s

Do not skip heading levels, an h1 should be followed by an h2, followed by an h3 etc.

Do not use blank Hx tags

Do not use formatted paragraph text as a substitute for headings

Include the alt attribute for every image

Do include form image buttons (better to use non-image buttons), and image map hot spots

Do limit text within graphics: rotators, banners, campaigns

Do include name and title in the alt attribute of individuals pictured in news articles

Do leave the alt text null (alt=””) if images have surrounding text or headings that describe the image

If an image is the only thing in a link, then the alt text should reflect where that link is going.

Do not include words such as ‘logo of’ or ‘picture of’ or things like ‘smiling lady’ etc.

Do not use infographics and charts without also making the information available as real text

Do not include title attributes on images

Use semantic organization

Use a proper list when it’s a list of items, not a ‘fake’ list of links or paragraphs (screen reader users can choose to pull up lists)

Color alone should not convey content

Provide meaningful link text

Learn more, read more, click here, etc. – taken out of context this type of link text is meaningless and can be confusing to screen reader users. Link text should convey the purpose of the link.

Watch linking using single words, phrases are better ex: specialists vs. orthopedic specialists or services vs. cardiology services.

URLs alone should not be the link text, link the words of the link destination.

Tables for tabular data only

Row and column headings, where necessary, should be used to associate data cells with headers.

Table headers should have appropriate scope attributes

There should be no empty th's

Do not use table summary, use caption's instead to describe the table’s purpose

Include Title and Subject fields in PDF document summaries

Forms: include Facility/practice name and the name of the form

Simplify medical terminology or link terms to explanatory resource

Links shouldn’t include the title attribute

If using an iframe, the title attribute should be describing what’s in the iframe