Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Creating Accessible LibGuides

Why is color contrast important?

It's important to ensure foreground and background colors have enough contrast so that people with low vision, color blindness, or other visual impairments can read your content. When contrast is insufficient, it becomes difficult for many people with and without visual impairments to clearly read or understand your content. For example, the "Getting Started" text below has insufficient contrast and thus is difficult to read.

Example of a menu with the first item having insufficient color contrast, rendering it difficult to read.

 

To meet WCAG AA compliance for color contrast, visual presentation of text and images of text must have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 (with some exceptions). There are handy tools available online, such as Accessible Colors and the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker to confirm whether your color combinations meet accessibility guidelines.

If you're unsure what color your text or background is, right-click it and select "Inspect". In the "Styles" section of the dialog box, there should be an option titled "color" or "background-color". See below for an example. This will tell you the exact colors for contrast testing.

Inspect element style dialog box, highlighting the "Color" and "Background Color" sections

GW Libraries • 2130 H Street NW • Washington DC 20052202.994.6558AskUs@gwu.edu