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LibGuide Accessibility Best Practices

How you can make your websites and documents more accessible.

Write for how your users will read the text.

  1. ​Users will skim over text, unless it catches their interest.
    • SpringShare advises “Think journalism (not academic writing)”.
    • Share the most important part first, then the details.
    • Use common language, not library jargon. Write like you’re talking to the user.

     

  2. Use headers to organize text. The first couple of words should tell what the section will cover.
    • Users will often skim through a page looking at headers, and screen readers can be used to navigate text by headers (and links). 
    • Only Header 3-6 is available for inside LibGuide boxes. Header 1 and Header 2 are reserved in SpringShare to comply with accessibility standards. 

     

  3. Research shows that readers’ eyes will track over your page in a roughly F shape.
    • The readers won't read every word – this is where judicious use of the bold feature can help bring attention to part of the text.
    • Put your most import information across the top of the page and down the left side.
    • Research also shows some preference for side navigation LibGuides.

     

  4. Screen readers scan LibGuides column by column, which could be confusing to someone encountering a LibGuide for the first time.
    • You can include “how to use this guide” information in one of the first boxes the screen reader will encounter - especially on the 3 column layout. A good example of this is the first box on Rebeca Peacock’s (Boise State) Using This Guide.

Additional Reading

Copying and pasting text (and images) directly into a LibGuide can add a lot of extraneous code that a screen reader will pick up. 

Example of text copied and pasted directly from the web:

Happy Book Lovers’ Day

A cottage industry of book-related news reminds us that books are dying, or dead, or on life support. But as librarians, we know that’s not the whole story. On National Book Lovers’ Day, let’s look at loving books and re-reading them.  As children, learning to read opens doors for us.  Laura Miller thinks “the first book we fall in love with shapes us every bit as much as the first person we fall in love with.” That attachment affects choices we make in our lives.

Code generated by that copy and paste:

<header class="entry-header" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">
<class="entry-title" style="font-size: 2.215em; margin: 0px 0px 0.67em; font-family: &quot;Roboto Condensed&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 1.2em; color: rgb(153, 61, 27);">Happy Book Lovers&rsquo; Day
</header>

<div class="entry-content" style="font-size: 1.214em; line-height: 1.5em; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">
<p style="margin-bottom: 1.5em;">A cottage industry of book-related news reminds us that books are dying, or dead, or on life support. But as librarians, we know that&rsquo;s not the whole story. On National Book Lovers&rsquo; Day, let&rsquo;s look at loving books and re-reading them. &nbsp;As children, learning to read opens doors for us.&nbsp; Laura Miller thinks &ldquo;the first book we fall in love with shapes us every bit as much as the first person we fall in love with.&rdquo; That attachment affects choices we make in our lives.</p>
</div>

Unless this code is cleaned up in the Source view, it will conflict with any style options you try to assign the text.
Text after using the Copy Text button:

Happy Book Lovers’ Day

A cottage industry of book-related news reminds us that books are dying, or dead, or on life support. But as librarians, we know that’s not the whole story. On National Book Lovers’ Day, let’s look at loving books and re-reading them.  As children, learning to read opens doors for us.  Laura Miller thinks “the first book we fall in love with shapes us every bit as much as the first person we fall in love with.” That attachment affects choices we make in our lives.

Code generated:

<p style="margin-left: 40px;">Happy Book Lovers&rsquo; Day</p>

<p style="margin-left: 40px;">A cottage industry of book-related news reminds us that books are dying, or dead, or on life support. But as librarians, we know that&rsquo;s not the whole story. On National Book Lovers&rsquo; Day, let&rsquo;s look at loving books and re-reading them. &nbsp;As children, learning to read opens doors for us.&nbsp; Laura Miller thinks &ldquo;the first book we fall in love with shapes us every bit as much as the first person we fall in love with.&rdquo; That attachment affects choices we make in our lives.</p>

The Copy Text buttons are located at the upper right of the Rich Text/HTML box. They look like clipboards and the ones with "T" or "W" are for copying text or from Word, respectively.