Best Practices

In addition to the Section 508 and WCAG Double A requirements adopted by the State of California, the following five Best Practices were approved by the Portal Steering Committee, July 14, 2006. Reference “IOUCA Accessibility Recommendation Adopted 071406.pdf.”

Checkmark icon Note: The numbers below should in no way be confused with WCAG Checkpoint numbers. Rather, they refer to paragraph numbers in the document referenced above.

9.3 - Avoid using small images or text as links. (Ref. CA DOR #1)

What

The size of the "clickable" area of a link is limited to the size of the image or text that makes up the link.

Why

Mouse-users with limited fine motor control may have difficulty pointing to and clicking on links that are small, especially if the links are close together.

How

Make sure that images used for links are reasonably large, preferably 32 pixels by 16 pixels or larger. Use standard or enlarged font sizes for text links, and avoid using text links that are shorter than four characters in length. Additionally, avoid placing small links close together.

12.1 - Avoid using frames. (Ref. CA DOR #2. Based on WCAG 10)

What

Frames are sometimes used inappropriately for formatting and layout. For example, empty frames can be used to create margins around or within a page.

Why

Screen readers cannot judge whether the content of a frame is significant and must identify every frame for the user. Having to read this extraneous information for non-essential frames can be time consuming and confusing.

How

Use frames sparingly. If a frame is not necessary for page content, eliminate it.

18.3 - If a downloadable document cannot be provided in an accessible electronic format, provide information on how to request an alternate format. (Ref. CA DOR #3)

What

In some cases, documents cannot be provided in an accessible electronic format.

Why

Users with disabilities must still have equivalent access to public documents.

How

Provide information regarding whom to contact to obtain the document in alternate formats (e.g., Braille, large-print, or audio-cassette). Alternate formats must be available in a timely manner.

19.1 - Provide contact information. (Ref. CA DOR #4)

What

Contact information should be identified. Contact information should include email, telephone, text telephone (TTY), and mailing address.

Why

Individuals with disabilities may need to report accessibility problems or request information in an alternate accessible format.

How

List accessibility contact information on the home page or contact page. Inquiries about accessibility, especially requests for materials in alternate format, need to be handled in a timely manner.

20.1 - Test for accessibility. (Ref. CA DOR #5)

What

Testing includes functional tests with assistive technology, browser and operating system functionality, as well as automated testing software.

Why

Testing will determine whether accessibility has actually been accomplished.

How

Use browser and operating system accessibility features and leading assistive technology software such as screen readers and magnifiers to test for functional accessibility. Use an automated testing tool to identify common accessibility problems. If possible, do user testing with people with disabilities.