ADA Compliance

Guidelines for Online Courses


  • Do not use hyperlinks like "click here", "this", or "link". Link text should be short and descriptive so the user knows what the link is for.
  • Screen readers have an option to list and read all hyperlinks on a page. A list of twenty items all reading "click here" would not be instructive or helpful.


  • Research shows that sans-serif fonts are more easily read on computer monitors than serif fonts.
  • Black text on a white background is recommended.
  • Use only one font type.
  • Use headings when appropriate (format the text as a heading, don't just visually change the style).
  • Limit use of all CAPS, italics, or bold text.
  • Do not use underlining for emphasis (it can be mistaken for a link).
  • Format lists of information into actual bulleted or numbered lists.
  • Tables should only be used when necessary for presenting data, not for visual layouts of unrelated content (e.g., to line up two columns of unrelated information). Tables need headings so information is read in the proper order.


  • All images should have alternative text (alt text) for ADA Section 508 compliance. Screen readers are then able to read what the image is.
  • The alternative text should communicate the same information in text as the image does visually.


  • There should be a high contrast between the background color and the font color.
  • Avoid extremely bright colors as a background color, it makes text very hard to read.


  • Refrain from using animated or blinking images, text, or cursors. These can cause seizures for some people.

Video and Audio

  • Provide close-captioning or have accompanying text-based scripts for all video.
  • Provide text transcripts of all audio files.

Web Accessibility Resources