Website accessibility guidelines

The Web Services team at Messiah University maintains and updates various pages and sites on the external website. We prioritize adherence to accessibility guidelines to ensure ease of use for all visitors, particularly those with hearing or visual impairments. We encourage all content owners to follow these evolving guidelines, which may change periodically. Please revisit this page regularly for the latest recommendations and updates.

What is accessible design?

Accessible design ensures that online content is easily comprehensible by all users, regardless of the browser or adaptive equipment they use. It embodies the principle of universal design, allowing access across different devices, including visual browsers, screen readers, and mobile devices.

Key reccomendations for accessibility 


  • Give images tag an alt text element.
  • Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map.

General Design

  • Structure documents for readability without relying on style sheets.
  • Test pages across multiple browsers and operating systems.
  • Avoid scrolling text that may pose difficulties for screen readers.
  • Use headings and bulleted lists for content organization.

In-Text Links

  • Use descriptive link text that provides context about the destination.
  • Maintain underlined text links with a distinct color value.
  • Minimize the use of links opening in new windows unless necessary, providing clear indications for screen reader users.


  • Design electronic forms for accessibility, ensuring compatibility with assistive technology.
  • Ensure all form elements and instructions are accessible for completion and submission.


  • Identify row and column headers for data tables.
  • Use markup to associate data cells with headers, especially for tables with multiple logical levels.

Additional Resources 

Web Content Accessibility Guidlines (WCAG) 2.2
ADA Website Compliance Guide
Penn State University AccessAbility website