508 Accessibility Compliance

It is Clemson University’s goal to design and maintain our sites with accessibility in mind.

Here are some common errors:

Missing or incorrect equivalent text for non-text elements

Images that may be described easily should include a descriptive alt tag

Example: < img src="horse.jpg" alt="Horse in stable" width="600" height="315" />

Alternate text should be brief, succinct and informative. If your image description is over 150 characters, provide a longdesc link in the image tag itself and create a separate page with the image description. If the information is already conveyed on the same page? The longdesc tag may be omitted.

Example: < img src="alumniclasspicture.jpg" alt="Class of 2009" longdesc="alumniclassmembers.html" width="600" height="400" / >

Decorative images used as design elements should be coded with a blank "ALT" or "alternative" tag

Example: < img src="pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="">

The Reason: They contain no information and it keeps document readers from repeating words like: "spacer, spacer, spacer..."


Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup. Even though there are eight different kinds of colorblindness, not that many people are colorblind. However, bright red text on a green background hurts everyone's eyes. Color-coding used in design is fine as long as it isn't critical to navigation. Run any questionable pages through the Colorblind Web Page Filter to double-check.

Image Maps

If you can avoid using image maps at all, please avoid them.

Clickable image maps of the state should include those counties spelled out as hypertext links if they are mouse-dependent. On the plus side, as hypertext links, they make your website more searchable and improve search engine results.


Provide a caption via the SUMMARY element. A table summary describes the nature of the table in one to three sentences.


<TABLE summary="This table charts the number of cups of coffee consumed by each member of the team">

For data tables, identify row and column headers. The top row describes the column content. That row should include table header tags in the top row of your table:

Example: <tr><th>Apples</th> <th>Year</th></tr>

JavaScript hyperlinks

If you use a Javascript to display information, please provide <noscript></noscript> tags directly after that provide an alternative to those browsers not supporting script. If you use dynamic HTML (DHTML) to create drop down menus or layers, make sure any navigational items are accessible by both mouse and keyboard.

Accessible Electronic Documents

For more information on creating accessible electronic documents, read up here: http://www.section508.gov/content/build/create-accessible-documents.