Common Challenges with Electronic Information

Below is a list of common challenges in accessing web pages and email, compiled by our Web Testers:

Barriers to Accessing Web Pages

  • Forms that don’t use proper tags for fields
  • Having to type in stylized characters that appear in an image to verify a form
  • In-line frames that keep one part of the web page separate from the rest in a box
  • Poorly labeled links
  • Incorrectly labeled form fields
  • Use of Flash without thought to making it accessible
  • Links that don’t indicate what they reference, i.e. ‘click here’ or ‘image1’
  • Using only a single heading on a page when two or more would make the page easier to understand
  • Online ads
  • Pop-ups
  • Sites that have to refresh a frame or a page to show information can cause JAWS users to lose their place
  • A lack of Alt tags
  • Sites that are all in Flash
  • Linked areas that produce drop menus when you don’t want them
  • Pages that don’t support full keyboard access
  • Forms that automatically jump to the next field when one is completed

Barriers to Accessing Email

  • Emails that only contain images
  • Too many forwarded messages before the actual email
  • Having to scroll past a long list of other addresses the email was sent to
  • Using fonts that are difficult to read (i.e. skinny, cursive, or narrow fonts)
  • Using colors that don’t contrast well, making it hard to distinguish text
  • Putting important text in an image that is hard to read or has no Alt text
  • Emails that are not formatted with HTML
  • Emails that use uncommon layouts
  • Emails that are PDFs
  • Overuse of images
  • Emails that have a website address but require it to be copy and pasted into the browser rather than linked from the email
  • Emails with a link to download the images in the message
  • Scanned documents
Return to the Web Testers page.