The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Accessibility Requirements

In order to meet its values of diversity and inclusiveness, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to making its website accessible to all.

UMass Amherst strives towards best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, located at, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level A and AA of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI) for HTML/XHTML, CSS, and web content accessibility, located at

Accessibility and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
In addition to making content accessible by improving usability, the accessibility guidelines also work to improve our rankings in top search engine results.

Accessibility Testing Tools
We recommend using freely available testing tools for meeting accessibility requirements, including, but not limited to:

Providing Equal Access

All UMass Amherst websites should make best efforts to ensure that information is equally accessible for everyone by complying with the below easy checks to ensure equal access.

When creating digital content, we follow the “Web Accessibility Easy Checks” guidelines. These include:

Page Title
Example: Page Title | Site Name | UMass Amherst

Alt Text
Example: <img src="magnifying-glass.jpg" alt="search">

Example: <h1> comes first, followed by <h2> then <h3> etc...

Color Contrast
Example: Use the Web Aim Color Contrast Checker.

Resize Text
Example: Use text-only zoom on your browser (200%) and ensure that text doesn't disappear, cut off, or include horizontal scroll bars.

Keyboard Access and Visual Focus
Example: Check that you can tab to all the elements, including links, form fields, buttons, and media player controls.

Forms, Labels and Errors
Example: Use the WAI Labels Checks found on the website.

Multimedia Alternatives
Examples: Review all video captions/transcripts, provide alternate formats for auditory and visual media.

Basic Structure Check
Example: Preview the site without any styling to make sure all content is available.

Link Purpose (In Context)
The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone.

Electronic Documents
These guidelines are extended to include files that are usually created, edited and viewed with word processors, spreadsheets, presentations/slideshows and PDFs posted or distributed through the web. View the below files to learn more about creating accessible electronic documents.

If you find an accessibility issue or have a related question contact