University Communications and Marketing (UCM) continues to make strides to ensure the university's website is accessible to all users, including those who rely on assistive technology. UCM Web Team provides counsel, training and quality assurance tools to help university webmasters make improvements to their websites so that they better comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
All websites available to the public, including Kent State University’s publicly accessible website, must be compliant with WCAG 2.0. One way to ensure accessibility is to offer a text-only version of your website. Regardless, you must follow the Accessibility Compliance Criteria, which can be found in the Guide to Web Standards.
The guide is a condensed version of a larger set of mandates. Please refer to these websites for complete ADA compliance information:
- U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act website
- Electronic & Information Technology Accessibility Standards
- Designing for People with Partial Sight and Color Deficiencies
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guide to accessibility
Top Web Accessibility Issues: Tips for Bringing Your Website Into Compliance
- Images should not be used as buttons or links.
- Images should not contain text unless absolutely necessary.
- Alternative text (alt attributes) must be added to all images.
- Avoid using generic links like “Click Here” instead of descriptive links, such as “View Degree Requirements”
- Avoid using blinking text
- Slideshows and PDFs should be avoided; refrain from uploading these file types if possible and re-create as a webpage.
- Animations should be kept to a minimum and, when possible, provide a way to cancel or pause them.
- Large pages should include navigation anchor links to navigate the document and return to the top.
- Forms should be built in Qualtrics with accessibility in mind.
- Tables should not be used for layout purposes or non-tabular data
- Always select row one as the header row
- Give the table a caption
- Using PDF, PowerPoint or Word files for text that could easily appear as part of a web page
- PDF documents should have an equivalent web page in html
- PDF files should only be used for forms or documents that are meant to be printed
- Add (PDF) to the end of links that lead to a PDF files
- Transcripts or closed captioning should be provided for videos
- Use section headings (Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.) as architecture elements to separate sections and not as aesthetic design elements to outline sections of text pages
- Blind visitors can use them to jump to specific sections
Siteimprove Accessibility Module
It is key that we keep user accessibility in mind for those who may be using screen readers and other assistive technology.
A few easily overlooked settings can make the difference between users being able to easily access your content or not. Additionally, there are legal implications for websites that do not comply with accessibility requirements, so your attention to your website’s accessibility through Siteimprove is encouraged.
For more information about web accessibility efforts at Kent State, contact Lin Danes.