Organization and Markup

To make it easy for users to know where they are on a page, material should be organized logically and intuitively. This includes making all headers informative and unique, and not using tables for a page’s layout. Semantic markup (i.e., using tags to indicate the meaning of content on the webpage) should be used correctly. This means ensuring that the correct tags are used to describe content. It is especially important to use proper tags for headers so that they provide meaning to the user.


To make text content accessible to all users, it should be readable at double the original text size, and it should be wholly visible on the page (i.e., the user should not have to scroll horizontally). Use relative fonts sizes (em or %), as these font-size units are scalable and can be read easily by any device. Other formatting requirements include not using full justification, using a minimum of 1.5 x font size for line spacing, and using a minimum of 1.5 x line spacing for paragraph spacing. Note: Information about colour formatting can be found in the “Colour” section.

Word Choice

All terms being used on a webpage should be understandable to the reader. Explain all abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used, and define jargon. Error messages should be clear and descriptive, so that it is obvious to the user what the error is.

CEL Accessibility Guidance (derived from WCAG 2.0) Addressing the Use of Text:

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  • Key Terms

    1. Must means do things in the manner described exactly.
    2. Should means do things in the manner described unless there is a good reason not to [i.e., instructor has other needs].
    3. [Supplementary information] is provided in square brackets.