articles review

Response to 15+ Tips to Improve Web Accessibility

I gave feedback in the form of a comment for the article 15+ Tips to Improve Web Accessibility of a Website. But, yet again, my blog comment was not published. The article is not bad, just needed some clarifications. So since my comment wasn’t approved (after several days), here it is:

Great points, although 4 have to do with forms. Some clarifications:

  • For alternative text on images, decorative images should have empty value (alt=””) and linked images must have alt text describing target of link.
  • Relative sizing in CSS not as important as it used to be. [Most browser do page zoom by default and all browsers but IE can zoom text set in pixels.]
  • CSS vs table layout doesn’t have any direct impact to accessibility.
  • Use ABBR tag for acronyms as well as abbreviations (acronym tag is deprecated).
  • For skip links, see end of this article for JS fix for functionality on some browsers:

And now that I think about it, the article overlooks pretty basic techniques such as data tables, captioning, and ARIA. For a more complete list of tips, see my 25 Ways To Make Your Website Accessible.

articles interview podcast

Podcast 93: Teaching Mistakes

Dennis talks briefly about a couple of his recent presentations, a few other presentations and articles, and has a great conversation with Katherine Lynch.

Download Web Axe Episode 93 (Teaching Mistakes)

[Transcript of podcast 93]


  • Busy new day job for Dennis at PayPal.
  • Two recent presentations by Dennis. Shout out to Norm Coombs of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) and John Croston (@jfc3) for putting on the Accessibility DC meetup.


Discussion with Katherine Lynch.

Katherine Lynch who works for Drexel University Libraries in Philadelphia. Katherine is a Drupal and accessibility professional and has done many presentations and written many articles. Find her on Twitter at @katelynch. Dennis and Katherine discuss her recent article 5 Teaching Mistakes Accessibility Advocates Make:

  • We assume that others don’t know anything.
  • We assume that others know too much.
  • We get hung up on one cause of accessibility.
  • We try to convert people who don’t need converting.
  • We blame people for not already knowing.

Related Links


25 Ways To Make Your Website Accessible

After a long delay, a comprehensive how-to article on web accessibility by Web Axe creator Dennis Lembree is finally published: 25 Ways To Make Your Website Accessible. (The Shortened URL is Each method listed includes a succinct explanation and also an image to help convey the point. The points are:

  1. Consistent Layout and Structure
  2. Add Alternative Text to Images
  3. Use Page Headings
  4. Use Headings Properly
  5. Skip Links
  6. Link Content
  7. Link Awareness
  8. Be Careful With Title Attribute
  9. Keep the Underline
  10. Forms
  11. Make All Links Accessible to Keyboard
  12. Show Link Focus
  13. Add ARIA Landmark Roles
  14. Validate Mark-Up
  15. The Three Tiers, and Progressive Enhancement
  16. Use List Elements for Lists
  17. Use More Than Color to Convey Meaning
  18. [Sufficient] Color Contrast
  19. Mark Up Data Tables Correctly
  20. Make Changes to Content Clear
  21. Now, About That Flash…
  22. Provide Transcriptions
  23. Add Captions
  24. Appropriate Language
  25. Test Through Multiple Methods
articles review

Feedback on A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Web Accessibility

Here is my feedback on a recent article A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Web Accessibility on Some good points, but I’d like to clarify a few things:

  • Item 1 is good, I think the main point is “follow conventions”, to continue established design patterns. This may be beneficial for those with cognitive disabilities, but it’s somewhat more of a usability issue rather than accessibility.
  • For Item 2, remember that a text-alternative is now frowned upon; it’s almost always not equal content, nor a comparable experience. Also, many Flash websites can now be done with accessible HTML/JS/CSS.
  • Don’t agree with your point on Pagination. Not directly related to accessibility, but again, more of an opinion on usability.
  • For item 4, I think the point is to use semantic markup. A great place to start!
  • On item 7, the point is that you should use relative sizing and layout (EM, %) instead of absolute (PX, PT).
  • For 8, you’re pointing to WCAG1, which is now outdated. You want WCAG2. Also, for testing, auto tools are handy, but it’s always best to have real users test. And many items MUST be checked by a human, such as proper alternative text.
articles expert interview

Interview with Jennison by Steve

If you missed it from Twitter a month-and-a-half ago, Steve Grobschmidt (@AquinasWI) published an interview with accessibility expert Jennison Asuncion (@Jennison) in a 3-part series. It’s published on Steve’s blog “the art of web accessibility”. I recommend reading the interview as well as checking out Steve’s blog. Both Steve and Jennison are excellent contributors to the web accessibility community.

head shot of Jennison Asuncion