Best Practices

Weblinks

In this section, we review how to add accessible weblinks to content.

What Are Weblinks?

Weblink: a link from a file or document to another location (such as a website address) or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image on the screen.

File types: .html, .pdf, .doc, .xls


Before You Begin

Why Are You Including the Weblinks You Have Selected?

Generally weblinks are included within content to provide the user with additional information that is available at a another location.

Who Are You Doing This For?

This work supports students who:

  • Have a form of cognitive disablity, for example Ann
  • Have a physical disability, for example Trish
  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Are blind or have low vision
Horton, Sarah; Quesenbery, Whitney. 2014. A Web for Everyone. New York: Rosenfeld Media. rosenfeldmedia.com/books/a-web-for-everyone/

Horton, Sarah; Quesenbery, Whitney. 2014. A Web for Everyone. New York: Rosenfeld Media. rosenfeldmedia.com/books/a-web-for-everyone/


What Do You Need To Do?

Descriptions

Ensure that all web pages and weblinks have titles that describe a topic or purpose.

The purpose of the link can be determined by the text alone. That is, you don’t need to include additional information justifying the use of the link. You want the link to be meaningful in context. For example, do not use generic text such as “click here” or  “read more” unless the purpose of the link can be determined by meaning in the surrounding content.[1]

Consider the following examples.

Example 1 — unclear:

  • Click here for information on the BC Open Textbook Project.

Example 12 — clear and accessible:

New Tabs/Windows

In general, it is better if weblinks do not open new windows and tabs since they can be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty perceiving visual content.[2]

However, if a link must open in a new window, it is best practice to include a textual reference. For example, Information on the BC Open Textbook Project [New Window] is available online.[3]