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Creating Accessible LibGuides

Accessible Design Principles for LibGuides

Accessible content is content that can be used and understood by a wide range of individuals, including those with disabilities and users of assistive technology. The way we format content can profoundly impact how people engage with and access information.

This content is adapted for LibGuides from “Accessible Design Principles” by Adam Chaboryk, “Creating Accessible LibGuides” by Queen’s University Library, and "Research guides: Best practices for design & accessibility" by Dalhousie University Libraries.

Visit the TMU Accessibility website to learn more about creating accessible documents, D2L pages, and websites.


SLICK is a simple acronym to help you remember some of the accessible design principles which can be applied to all types of digital content. When creating emails, documents, and web pages: simply remember to be slick. 

Slick stands for: Structure and headings, Links, Images and video, Colour and contrast, and Keep it simple.

  • Structure and headings: Use semantic headings and lists to structure your content in a meaningful way. 

  • Links and URLs: Link text should be clear, self-descriptive, and make sense out of context. URLs should be simple and legible.

  • Images and media: Add alt text descriptions to images. Ensure all embedded media such as video includes captions.

  • Colour and contrast: Never rely on colour alone to differentiate between elements, and use strong contrasting colours.

  • Keep it simple: Use tables for tabular content, use plain language when writing, and design with intention and simplicity.