In this section, we review how to add accessible weblinks to content.
What Are Weblinks?
Weblink: a link from a file or document to another location (such as a website address) or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image on the screen.
File types: .html, .pdf, .doc, .xls
Before You Begin
Why Are You Including the Weblinks You Have Selected?
Generally links are included within content to provide the user with additional information that is available at another location.
Who Are You Doing This For?
This work supports students who:
- Have a form of cognitive disability
- Have a physical disability
- Are deaf or hard of hearing
- Are blind or have low vision
What Do You Need To Do?
A reader should be able to identify the purpose of the link by the link text. You shouldn’t have to include additional information to justify the use of the link and you want the link to be meaningful in context. For example, do not use generic text such as “click here” or “read more” (Level Access, 2019).
Consider the following examples.
Example 1 — unclear:
- Click here for information on the BC Open Textbook Project.
Example 12 — clear and accessible:
- Information on the BC Open Textbook Project is available online.
In general, it is better if links do not open new windows and tabs since that can be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty perceiving visual content (W3C, 2014).
However, if a link must open in a new window, it is best practice to include a textual reference. For example, Information on the BC Open Textbook Project [New Window] is available online (EIT Accessibility Group, 2019).
EIT Accessibility Group. (2019). Links on a web page. http://accessibility.psu.edu/linkshtml
Level Access. (2019). Ensure link text is meaningful within context. https://www.webaccessibility.com/best_practices.php?best_practice_id=1301
W3C. (2014). G200: Opening new windows and tabs from a link only when necessary. http://www.w3.org/TR/2014/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20140916/G200