Provide closed captioning for videos

Video captioning makes your videos accessible to:

  • Individuals with hearing loss or hearing impairments;
  • Those for whom English is a second language;
  • Emerging readers;
  • Anyone in a noisy environment;
  • People with learning disabilities;
  • All of us.

Source: Harvard University Digital Accessibility Resources


Provide transcripts for audio files

A complete and accurate transcript gives those who can't hear equitable access to your content.


Provide Alt text for images

Screen readers read Alt text aloud. Short, meaningful descriptions provide equitable access to your images. 

Write good Alt text

  • Add Alt text for all non-decorative images.
  • Keep it short and descriptive, like a tweet.
  • Don’t include “image of” or “photo of” (screen readers already notify users when they are on an image).
  • Leave alt text blank if the image is purely decorative.
  • It's not necessary to add text in the Title field. 

Source: Write good Alt Text to describe images. This site also provides Alt text examples that convey an image's context and purpose.

Use meaningful and consistent text for link names

Screen reader users may navigate your page using a list of the links, so link text needs to make sense out of context, not contain extra information, and be consistent throughout your guide.

Write meaningful link text:

  • Phrases such as "click here," "more," "click for details," are ambiguous when read out of context.
    • Don't link ambiguous words, i.e. "Click here for EconLit."
    • Use instead: "EconLit"
  • Place the distinguishing information of links at the beginning of a link.
    • Don't put extra information first, i.e.  "Link opens in a new window: Products." 
    • Use instead: "Products (opens in a new window)" 

 Adapted from Links and Hypertext

Use consistent link text

  • Multiple links that go to the same page (e.g. the HOLLIS homepage) should have the same link text
  • If you have several links to the same page, consider whether you need so many links to the same place.

Use these best practices for links to books and e-resources

  • If you choose to include print books in your guide they should be added as links that go to their HOLLIS record and should be titled as below. The addition of call numbers, etc. is unneeded and cluttering.
  • Whenever possible, resource links should be to electronic materials. Harvard subscription resources including e-books should be indicated with the text below (not the shield icon) as part of the title. Specific resources should be favored over entire databases so the description can be customized. 

Use HTML headings to indicate page sections

Screen reader users may navigate your page using a list of headings, so section titles need to be indicated by HTML headings to be read.  

Use HTML headings

  • Use HTML headings instead of boldfaced text or larger font size to indicate hierarchy in your text boxes.  
  • In LibGuides, H1 is reserved for the guide's title and H2 is for box titles. Within your text box, use H3-H5
  • Headings should flow from preceding headings (i.e. only use H4 if it's a subsection of an H3). This helps screen readers navigate by headings of a specific level.