Accessibility standards encompass all aspects of a website. Here are some of the key criteria to ensure that navigation and structural elements are accessible.


Consistent Design

Some people may not be accustomed to using the Internet at all, while others may have a disability that makes it hard to get an overview of a webpage or navigate a website. 

It is important that navigation links are consistent across all webpages within a department website and that global elements are consistent across the entire WSU website.

  • If left navigation links are present, they must be used in a consistent order on every webpage in a website
  • If right navigation links are present, they must be used in a consistent order within that sub-section of a website

Multiple Access Points

To make it easy for people to find infor­mation, it’s important to have more than one way of finding specific content on a webpage. These options includes navigat­ing through the intended page hierarchy, navigating through a sitemap or index, and using a search engine.

  • Each website must be added to the Site Index  
  • Webpages should be interlinked when appropriate 


When an element on a webpage is to be a link or something clickable, it’s important that the element text/description makes sense when read out of context. This is important because some users with screen readers may choose to read only the links on webpages.

  • Use link text that accurately and succinctly describes the link destination: "For more information, visit the undergraduate catalog"
  • Do not use vague phrases like “Read More,” "Learn more details" “Here,” and Click Here”
    • These phrases provide no clues as to what information a person will find if they click the link
  • Links must have an accurate tool-tip description that displays when a user hovers a mouse/pointer over the link

Content Organization


Make sure pages are divided into logical sections each having a heading describing the content. 

It is important to keep in mind that some users cannot get a visual overview of a webpage they have to navigate structurally. Proper headings helps them find the information they are looking for quickly.

  • Headings must accurately and succinctly describe the topic or purpose of the following information
  • All webpages must have exactly one title in Heading 1 style (H1)
  • Headings must be placed ("nested") in order according to styling
    • An ideal example: 
      • Heading 1
        • Heading 2
          • Heading 3
          • Heading 3
        • Heading 2
    • Avoid structuring headings like this: 
      • Heading 1
        • Heading 3
        • Heading 2


  • A pre-styled bullet-point list is used to display information where the order of items doesn't matter
  • A pre-styled numbered list is used to display information where the order of items is important
  • Lists should have only one tier of bullet points or numbers
    • This line is an example of a second tier. Avoid doing this in a webpage.
  • Do not use asterisks, dashes or other symbols to simulate the appearance of a list

Use of Color

In order to make sure that all users are aware that an element on a webpage has a certain function or status, it is important not to give information solely by the use of color. For people who cannot see colors or who have low vision, that information can be lost.

  • Do not provide directions that require visual distinction to complete a task
    • Avoid writing things like: "You can read more about the event in the blue box on the right"
  • Links will use the pre-set styling to be underlined and have a different color from the regular text
  • All webpages must have sufficient color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for background color vs. text