Web Accessibility

About Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.

There are a couple of well-known guidelines/standards for website accessibility:

The web team is using the Section 508 standards to evaluate and improve the accessibility of luther.edu. 

Guidelines for Content Creators

In order to ensure that the content presented on the Luther College website (www.luther.edu) is accessible to all visitors, we encourage users of our content management system, Reason CMS, to adhere to the following guidelines.


Reason CMS requires a “Short Caption.” This is the text that screen readers will read to users who cannot see the content on the screen. Make sure it is representative and accurate.

  • Example of bad short caption for the following image: "Picture of students."
  • Example of good short caption for the following image: “Luther College students at a football game with sign ‘Sail NORSE.’”
Luther College students at a football game with sign ‘Sail NORSE.’
Luther College students at a football game with sign ‘Sail NORSE.’

Infographics/Graphical Representation of Content

Infographic content must be available in text format on the site. This can be done on the same page or with a link to a separate page that contains the same information in text format.

PDFs/Word Docs/PowerPoints

There are approaches for making attached documents accessible to users with disabilities. NOTE: We prefer that all attachments use the PDF format to avoid compatibility issues.

Please contact the web team if you need assistance.


All audio and video files added to the website must have accurate captions. For video, YouTube has an automatic captions feature that can give you a head start. However, you will need to review and tweak to make sure the transcription is accurate.

Reason provides a space to include a transcript. This is only required if the file doesn’t already include captions, e.g. YouTube videos.


Headings are HTML tags that allows the content creator to organize the page. They can be added through the Reason editor by clicking the ‘H’ icon.

Headings are not to be used to emphasize body text. This confuses the organization of the webpage. Likewise, bold text should not be used to represent a heading, because it will appear to a web page reader as simple body text. For example, don’t do this:

Hey everybody, this sentence is important!

Body text that goes with this heading.


Usability is important for all users, however usability issues—and improvements—are amplified for users with disabilities.

Basic usability takes the end user into consideration when naming menu items, organizing content on the page, and writing the content. Use simple language with simple instructions to assist users in navigating the website.

Use these guidelines:

  • The user should always know where he or she is. (E.g. clear page titles.)
  • It should always be clear where a user will end up when she or he clicks a given link or button. (E.g. label should match landing page title.)
  • The user should know what just happened. (E.g. clear success/error messages on forms.)
  • Ensure link titles are present and accurate. (Add under “Link Information” in link dialog in Reason CMS. See below.)
  • Put the most important information or a summary at the top of a page with a lot of content.
Screenshot of link description field in Reason CMS.
Screenshot of link description field in Reason CMS.