Universal Design GUIDE


This guide can and should be used to design all media. Legally, it is required for "places of public accommodation". For digital media, this is currently not well or consistently defined in the courts or the legal language. New definitions for the existing regulations are due to come in 2018. For more information about accessibility regulations click here.

This guide covers WCAG 2.0 - Level AA accessibility conformance that we can implement using the capabilities that we have. This level is generally considered the minimum requirement for media that is used for government or public accommodation.




  • Descriptive alt tags should be included for all images.
  • Icons should always include text with them.
  • Image captions should always be located directly below the image and work in tandem with the image alt tag to describe the image.
  • Do not use images that can cause seizures (no more than 3 blinks per second).



  • Video should have manually written closed captions.
  • Audio and video can be paused and stopped.
  • Do not use video or animation that can cause seizures (no more than 3 blinks per second).


  • Voice audio (other than music) should have a transcript available.
  • Video should have a written description (of everything that happens) available.


  • Should be very high contrast against its background (light on dark or dark on light).
  • Should be sized for easy reading.
  • Should not be image based.
  • Should be able to enlarge using devise controls.
  • Hierarchical use of text tags. For example:
    • Title, Heading, Sub-heading, Normal
    • H1, H2, H3, H4, Normal


  • Links should always be underlined
  • Links to the same location with different names should not be on the same page.
  • Link names and/or text accompanying links should be descriptive (tell user where they are going before they click the link)
  • a "skip Menu" invisible button should be included if the menu has more than 4 buttons
  • Pages should have titles (tagged as such)
  • Do not differentiate categories of information using color.
  • A site map page should be included for sites with more than 4 pages
  • Users should be warned of time limits that are essential or longer than 20 hours. Audio and visual warnings (20 seconds in advance) should tell the user when time limits are at hand.


  • The content should displayed in a left to right, top to bottom hierarchy.
  • Pages should be navigable using keyboard arrow and tab keys
  • No automatic pop-ups or focus changes triggered by scrolling
  • Should function with screen readers.
  • The media should be responsive to a variety of screen sizes.
  • There should be ample space between navigation elements that allow for ease of use on a small phone