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WCAG 2.1 Basics for Content Editors

While your IT staff may be responsible for ensuring that your website complies with ADA requirements for website accessibility, anyone who adds content to your site needs to be aware of the Worldwide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) and how those guidelines apply to the information your organization posts online.

These seven tips address some of the most common accessibility issues that should be top of mind for all content editors.

  1. Alternative text for pictures
    Photos and infographics should have alternative text that describes the image. Assistive technologies rely on alt-text to convey the meaning of visual elements on your site.

  2. Acceptable color contrast
    Color contrast between the text and background should be at least 4.5:1 to ensure easy readability.

  3. Properly formatted headings
    Using appropriate heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to show how information is organized not only looks nice visually, but also provides the proper mark-up to help assistive technologies convey the order and structure of the page.

  4. Meaningful link text
    When creating links, the text contained in the link should make sense when read out of context. “Click here” is meaningless by itself. The text should accurately describe where the link goes.

  5. Text equivalents for audio and video
    Always provide closed captioning or transcripts for video or audio recordings. Services like YouTube can be set to automatically provide captions while other companies offer transcription or captioning services for a fee.

  6. Format lists properly
    Use bullets or numbered lists to format list items. Do not simply use breaks or paragraphs to separate list items. Proper list formatting provides order and improves readability for assistive technologies.

  7. Accessible documents
    Before posting any document on your website, always test for accessibility and correct any issues which may hinder a user’s ability to access the information. provides a wealth of information and tutorials to help ensure that your information and services are accessible to people with disabilities.

Need more help? Contact Municipal One and let our accessibility experts build you a website that brings your community together with an inclusive online experience that breaks down barriers and helps you achieve ADA compliance.

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