Skip to main content

CUNY LIBRARIES ARE OPEN ONLINE! We are open online for reference & instruction. E-resources are fully available. Library buildings remain closed.

Support Students Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis Donate Now

Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): Meaningful Link Text

Accessibility guide for creating OER

Accessibility Information on Meaningful Link Text

General Information:

  • Assistive technology allows users to pull up a list of links so links need to be meaningful out of context.
  • Since links are read aloud, don't repeat the same link text over and over on a single web page.
  • Meaningful link text provides a clear description of where users will go once they click on the link.

Why is meaningful link text important?

  • Links such as “Click Here” or “More” don’t provide any information to screen readers and are meaningless out of context.
  • Link text which is the actual url is bad for screen reader users, if you can, avoid using just the url.
  • Meaningful link text allows users to perceive, operate and understand, POUR principles.

Demonstration/Comparison

Here is a video showing the difference between how a screen reader reads aloud a web page which has inaccessible hyperlink text and one with accessible hyperlink text.


Attribution: Normandale Community College [2012, Mar.19] Accessible vs. Inaccessible - Can you Hear the Difference? - Normandale Community College. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/5TNU_t-9w1A

How to create meaningful link text:

  • Make link text informative and provide context.
  • Sometimes you need to re-write or re-organize a paragraph to use meaningful link text.

Specific Platform Instructions for adding Meaningful Links

To add a link in Gutenberg:

  • Highlight meaningful link text
  • Select the link icon (Ctrl + K)

  • Type in your URL in the URL box
  • Click on the arrow to activate your link

screengrab showing how to add link text in guttenberg wordpress.

  • To select where the link opens when selected, click on the 3 dots to the right of the arrow to open up the link settings.
  • Here you can decide if the link opens up in the current window/tab or in a new window/tab

wordpress classic screengrab showing how to add a meaningful link text.

  • Highlight the text with your mouse
  • Click on the “Hyperlink” icon in the toolbar.
  • In the pop-up window, enter link’s web url.
  • Then, select “Target,” set the link to open in the current window/tab or a new window/tab
  • Click “OK” to save.
  • Hyperlinks allow you to link to a website from within your course.
  • Meaningful titles for your hyperlinks will also ensure that screen reader users can more easily understand them.
  • Because screen readers will read every letter, avoid using the entire web address as your hyperlink text (i.e. do not say: fill out this user survey online here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/SAMPLE/). Instead, include text that describes the website to which you are linking (i.e. please fill out the online user survey).
  • To add a clickable hyperlink to text in your course:
    • Highlight the text with your mouse
    • Click on the “Hyperlink” icon in the toolbar.
    • In the pop-up window, enter (or cut & paste) the link’s web address into the “Address” field.
    • Then, next to “Target,” set the link to open in a new window.
    • Click “Insert” to save.

 

 

To add a link with meaningful text in LibGuides:

Select "Link" from the drop-down menu

  • In the pop-up box type the meaningful text in the "Link Name" area. This is what will be read aloud to a screen reader.

screengrab showing add/reorder drop down menu where you select link.Screengrab showing where to type in link name in libguides.

 

If you add a link in a Rich Text/HTML box

  • Highlight the text with your mouse.
  • Click on the “Hyperlink” icon in the toolbar.
  • In the pop-up window, enter (or cut & paste) the link’s web address into the “URL” field.
  • Then, next to “Target,” set the where the link opens.
  • Click “OK” to save.

Screengrab showing links in rich text box.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure the emails you send are accessible.  If you include a link in an email, these links also need to have meaningful text.
  • When creating citation lists which require urls to be spelled out or the use of DOIs, what you can do is make the titles of the citation items the clickable links (like the video example above) since the titles will be meaningful link text, and then still include the actual urls or DOIs but don't have them be active links. This way the urls or DOIs won't be read aloud by screen readers when users are calling up a list of links but will still be available to all users of the citation list.