Accessibility Compliance

All sites available to the public, including Kent State University’s publicly accessible websites, must be compliant with WCAG 2.0.


  • Images should not be used as buttons or links.
  • Images should not contain text unless absolutely necessary.

Alt Attributes

  • Alternative text (alt attributes) must be added to all images.
  • Alt attributes for images are required and must convey the meaning of the image rather than the appearance.
  • Alt attributes provide a text alternative to image when images are not displayed, as in text-only.
  • As is the case with image captions, use of student names is not permitted unless you are featuring a student via a success story or news release. Instead, you might use a caption or alt attribute that states: A freshman anthropology major studies in the department lounge.


When writing copy, avoid the practice of setting a link to additional content on the text “click here.” Instead, set the link on the relevant text.

  • Incorrect: To find out more information about our wellness programs, click here.
  • Correct: Find more information about our wellness programs.

Blinking text

Do not use blinking text. Visitors cannot stop the text from blinking.

Slideshows (such as PowerPoint files) and PDFs

  • Refrain from uploading these kinds of files. PowerPoint files open entirely blank in a screen reader. Additionally, these file types can only be opened if users have the appropriate software installed.
  • You must offer this information in an additional format for those using screen readers.
  • Student Accessibly Services provides guidelines for creating accessible content.
  • View correct and incorrect examples of accessible content 


Keep animations to a minimum and, when possible, provide a way to cancel or pause animations on a page. Besides accessibility issues, animations can hinder credibility.

Background/font color

  • Avoid using these colors together: gray, red, green, brown and purple.
  • Primary Background color should be white. If a background color is used, be sure to offer a text-only version of the website or use effective color contrast (refer to the Color Contrast Ratio Calculator for compliance ratios and to calculate the contrast between two colors).
  • Color should not convey meaning – According to information from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), do not rely on color to convey information. For example, do not instruct a user to click on the “red arrow” to navigate a page.

Large pages

On long documents, provide a table of contents at the top of the document and navigation links throughout the document to allow the user to return to the top of the document.


Design forms with accessibility in mind. Include directions and cues that will help the person with a visual disability to complete the form. Be consistent in placement of labels for field elements.

Start building forms with Qualtrics


Fundamental guidelines for creating accessible Word documents and PDFs are shared at our trainings, after which handouts are provided for reference when creating future documents for departmental websites. Some key accessibility guidelines provided at our trainings include:

  • Document tagging
  • Heading styles and structure
  • Image Alt Text
  • Treating scanned documents
  • And more

Register for accessibility training


If video host allows, provide closed captioning for your videos. If not available, transcribe video and provide a link to the transcribed content. Videos are considered content and therefore must be captioned for accessibility purposes

Video captioning vendors

Kent State has worked with the following vendors to support this initiative:

Review additional captioning information

Complete ADA Compliance Information

The above list is a condensed version of a larger set of mandates. Please refer to these websites for complete ADA compliance information:

Learn about the Siteimprove Accessibility Module