Accessibility Terms to Know

Accessibility Terms to Know

Accessibility is a word used to describe equal access to digital information by all people, including those with disabilities. The Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require companies and institutions to ensure that anyone can interact with their online materials. A variety of words and concepts are widely used in conversation around web accessibility as concern for equal access grows more widespread. Below is a brief glossary of terms to know.

Accessibility – measures how usable a web page is by people with varying disabilities

Accommodation – support that allows a person to perform a certain task or access material fully

ADA – stands for Americans with Disabilities Act, a piece of legislation that defines disability and outlines the accommodations necessary to guarantee equal access for people with disabilities when it comes to employment, transportation, telecommunications, and government services

Alternative Text (or alt text) – brief text to describe an image

Assistive Technologies – technologies that help people with disabilities interact with computers

Captions – real-time text that represents the words and sounds of audio presentations; often used for television programs, movies, or online videos

Color Contrast – difference between light and dark colors that can help improve the presentation of material to those with difficulty distinguishing colors; ensures that people with color blindness can accurately comprehend online information

Disability – a limitation in a particular ability

Headings – titles that help organize a page of content and add structure for assistive technologies

Screen Reader – a software program primarily used by people with vision difficulties to read content and navigate a screen using speech or Braille output

Section 508 – amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to those with disabilities

Transcript – a text version of the words spoken in a video (not in real time)

WCAG 2.0 – stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, a set of standards for web content to ensure that it is usable by people with disabilities; guidelines are split into four categories: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust

Bridgeway Education can help you learn more about making web content accessible. To find out how we can assist you creating accessible educational materials, contact us at