Introduction to WAVE

The purpose of this page is to provide school webmasters with general information about how to address common accessibility issues that might be identified through the WAVE tool. Here is a quick tutorial that shows how to use this tool:

Once you've identified any accessibility issues on your site, use the tables below to learn how to fix those issues.

Note: The WAVE tool was developed by WebAIM. The icons below belong to the WebAIM and some of the content was adapted from their WAVE tool. Please visit their site for more information about using this tool. Also, check out their WAVE Chrome extension.

Alternative Text Issues Solution

Alternative text iconMissing alternative text
Add appropriate alternative text that presents the content of the image and/or the function of the link.
alternative text iconLinked image missing alternative text
Add appropriate alternative text that presents the content of the image and/or the function of the link.

suspicious alternative text iconSuspicious alternative text
Ensure that the alternative text for the image or image input provides a succinct, yet equivalent alternative to the content and function of the image.

same alternative text iconA nearby image has the same alternative text
Ensure that the alternative text for each image or image button is appropriate while removing unnecessary redundancy.

How to Fix Alternative Text Issues



Text Formatting Issues Solution

small text iconVery small text
Increase the text to a more readable size.

underlined text iconUnderlined text
Unless there is a distinct need for the underlined text, remove the underline or use some other styling such as bold or italics.

suspicious link iconSuspicious link text
Where appropriate, reword the link text so that it is more descriptive of its destination when read out of context. Remove any extraneous text (such as "click here").

justified text iconJustified text
Remove the full justification from the text.

adjacent links iconAdjacent links go to the same URL
If possible, combine the redundant links into one link and remove any redundant text or alternative text.

low contrast iconVery Low Contrast
Increase the contrast between the foreground (text) color and the background color. Large text (larger than 18 point or 14 point bold) does not require as much contrast as smaller text.

How to Fix Text Format and Links Issues


Other Issues Solution

document iconMicrosoft word iconPDF iconExcel iconPowerpoint iconLink to document, Word, PDF, Excel, Powerpoint
Ensure that the document is natively accessible. Additionally, inform the user what type of document the link will open.

Audio and video iconAudio/Video
For video content, ensure that synchronized captioning and a transcript is provided. For audio-only content, ensure that a transcript is provided.

flash iconFlash
Because Flash content is difficult to make accessible, is not supported on mobile devices, and is rapidly falling out of favor with web designers, we recommend against its use.

noscript iconNoscript element
Ensure that scripted content is accessible. The noscript content will be presented to very few users, but must be accessible if used.

How to fix these issues