Section 508 Compliance

HTML Coding Tutorial

Using Style Sheets

(d): Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet
Explanation: Style sheets can enable users to define specific viewing preferences to accommodate their disability. For instance, users with low vision may create their own style sheet so that, regardless of what web pages they visit, all text is displayed in an extra large font with white characters on a black background.
Importance: If designers set up their pages to override user-defined style sheets, people with disabilities may not be able to use those pages. For good access, therefore, it is critical that designers ensure that their web pages do not interfere with user-defined style sheets.

Style sheets can also help designers insure a consistent look across the site by establishing site-wide fonts, colors, and positioning.

Bad Examples

1.  Using Internal or Inline Style Sheets
Using Internal or Inline style sheets does not provide enough flexibility to the web site to allow for the user to implement their Style Sheet definitions.

Good Example

1.  Using External Style Sheets
Using External Style Sheets provides enough flexibility so the user can implement and use their own Style Sheet definitions.

Do-It-Yourself Fixes

In general, the "safest" and most useful form of style sheets are "external" style sheets, in which the style rules are set up in a separate file. An example of an external style sheet is:

<link rel=stylesheet type="text / css" href="(location of style sheet)/(name).css">

Based on how stylesheets work, if a user has their own predetermined stylesheet, they will still be able use thier own as well as yours. This based on the fact that their stylesheet will override any conflicting information you have established (e.g. The browser will load your stylesheet first and apply the information to the page, then will load the user's stylesheet and apply the information to the page). So if your stylesheet establishes a 12 point font, and the user's stylesheet establishes a 21 point font, the 21 point font will be used.