Accessibility Tip of the Week

Does that link make you think?

  • Summary: Use meaningful text and underline links.
  • Who it helps: Members of your audience that use screen readers or have cognitive or learning disabilities.
  • Additional benefits: It makes it easier for everyone to navigate and creates fewer incorrect link clicks.

Links are everywhere; present in email, social media, documents, and websites. It does not take much to make a link accessible and is very important for your audience. It is especially important for individuals who use screen readers or who have cognitive disabilities.

In general, your audience will be much more willing to click on your links if they understand where they are going.

What can I do?

Assistive technologies (like screen readers) and people with cognitive disabilities don’t process context the same way. Therefore, you need to be intentional about the words used in a link.

  • Distinguish link text from static text. Underlining is the easiest and most common way to do this.
    • Since underlined text indicate a link in digital content, avoid underlining text that isn’t a link. When you want to emphasize other words, make them bold instead.
  • Avoid phrases like “Click here”, as they don’t provide context for what the link is about.
    • Think about if you would understand what you are linking to without any of the surrounding words or context.
  • Avoid using long URLs as the link text.
    • Complicated URLs are often read one letter at a time, slowing down and frustrating your users.
    • Short, clear URLs are just fine.

Following these steps will give all of your users a much better experience. Learn more about accessible links at ta11y.org.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0    .

If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.