6. Provide Clear and Meaningful Links

There are a number of technical concerns for the accessibility of links. Those matters are handled by Princeton's instance of Drupal. It is recommended that you configure your Drupal site under the user interface options to add icons to all link types. These icons will be read aloud to a screen reader to provide context to the links in your content. 

Best Practices

  • Avoid using link text that read "click here" or "read more"
    • Non-sighted users pull up a list of links with their screen reader and cannot understand links out of context
  • Set Drupal template to place icons next to external links, emailto links, and image links

Don't do This

Ambiguous Link Text

Sample One:

Web Aim's article on link text Click here.

Sample Two:

Sample Three:


Why Is This Wrong?

In the first sample the use of "click here" presents an issue for the non-sighted person using a screen reader. They will frequently pull up a list of all the links on a page. If they only hear "click here," how will they understand what it is they're meant to click on? In addition, revealing the entire URL with domain and path as depicted in sample two also creates a challenge for the non-sighted person using a screen reader as that list of all the links on a page will be very verbose to have to parse through. 

Do This

Unambiguous Links

Sample One: 

Web Aim's article on link text

Sample Two: 

WCAG article on accessible links

Sample Three:

PDF iconAccessible Drupal Content Checklist

Why is This Right?

The URLs that lead users off the current page are indicated with the "opens in new window" icon and the URL that will download a file is indicated by a PDF icon. In addition, we have avoided terms like "click here" or "read more" and instead provided a clear understanding of what the URL's purpose is in the context of the content.