Learning Commons

site header


PDF Version (23 KB) 

Queens’ University has developed an official resource on creating accessible websites: The Web Standards and Accessibility Development Guide.

The Web Standards and Accessibility Development Guide has a detailed checklist of considerations to make when creating an accessible website, available here: Web Standards and Accessibility Guide Checklist.

Before beginning to author or update a site, please refer to the Web Standards and Accessibility Guide. It is a resource filled with all the necessary information and considerations you must make in order to successfully develop an accessible website. The Queen’s Web Standards Guide follows World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) guidelines - put in place by an international community to maintain web and accessibility standards. However, the guide is intended for people who have some knowledge  and experience with website creation and editing.

Should you not be an experienced website creator and editor, you can use WebPublish, which generally creates accessible and user-friendly websites. The QLC Accessibility Toolkit offers a basic checklist of things to consider when creating an accessible website which can be applied to use with WebPublish, as well as any other web publication tool.


  • Keep pages clear and simple
  • Avoid excessive vertical and/or horizontal scrolling


  • Avoid language which uses spatial/visual reference (ex. click on the link to the right)
  • Use descriptive hyperlinks - avoid vague text such as “click here” (example, the web link http://queensu.ca should be be written as "Queen's University Homepage").


  • When linking a file to a webpage, indicate the document size and format


  • Avoid using flashing or animated images
  • Add alternative text to images posted on the website (to accomplish this with WebPublish: when you insert an image, put in the alternative text in the “Description” field of the window)

How to Create Good Alternate Text:

  • Consider the content and function of your image.
  • If it provides content to your document, make sure that the information the image provides is described in the alt text.
  • If your image only provides a function (for example, providing a portrait of a historical figure described in the text) you need only describe the image. In the case that the image is of a historical figure, write his/her name as the alt text.
  • Try not to use “Image of...” or “Graphic of...” as alt text. That is usually evident to the person reading the alt text.
  • Do not repeat the information which is contained in the document itself into the alt text. If it's already in the document, that should be enough.


  • Avoid using sounds on a webpage, as they may interfere with screen readers

Sources: The Queen's Web Standards and Accessibility Development Guide and ITServices Accessibility Documentation