Accessibility Tips for Faculty Web Pages

When creating online courses, consider the ease of access to all students. There are barriers that may be in place for a student who has a disability that can be avoided by removing the barrier in the beginning. Please click on the statements below for more information.

A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
  • Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ASCII art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.

Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
  • Text equivalents for multimedia content must be synchronized with the presentation, i.e., captions must be included. Web authors are encouraged to include transcripts of audio content as well as synchronized alternatives because those transcripts permit searching and extracting.

Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
  • Do not convey important information with color alone. Use font, special characters, images with alt-text or other context in addition to using color.

Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
  • Style sheets are effective in adding font variations and colors to your website. But don't substitute style changes for the structural elements of HTML like headings, paragraphs, and lists.

    If you use CSS for positioning or page-wide color controls, check out your pages with style sheets disabled to be sure that information is not lost.

Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
  • If you must use a server-side map, make sure there are equivalent text links for every active region on the map.

Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
  • Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
  • Use the table header markup (th) for header cells of your data table, and for corner cells where the scope is ambiguous, add the scope attribute with the value row or col. Instead, you may use a td element for header cells when you add the scope attribute, scope="row" or scope="col", to specify header cells.

Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
  • Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document.

Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
  • Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.

Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
  • Don't use animated gifs, Flash, or other features that cause a portion of the screen to flicker. This condition can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
  • The text-only site must have all the information of the main site, must be updated with the same frequency as the main site, and must be immediately and obviously accessible from the main page.

When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
  • Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes. Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.

When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21 (a)(1-11).
  • Applets and plug-ins must satisfy the Section 508 software standards. In particular, they must be completely usable without a mouse. As focus moves from object to object, assistive technology must be able to determine the role and default action of each focused object. Test your use of applets or plug-ins using only the keyboard.

When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
  • Make certain you label form elements carefully, placing the text labels close to the controls. Use the label element to programmatically associate prompts with input elements when the on-screen prompting text is adequate. Use the title attribute on the input control when the prompting text is inadequate or dispersed.

A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
  • Provide a method for users to skip over navigation links. This can be done with a "skip navigation" link at the top of each page. Also, mark up heading text with HTML headings (h1, h2, etc.) to facilitate simple headings navigation to the main sections of your page.

When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
  • If you expect a response from a user in a certain prescribed time, alert the user to that fact and allow for additional time.

Note: When using alternate pages, make sure they are updated as frequently as the primary pages. This will eliminate the user's frustration if the page does not contain the correct information. Reconsidering the design of the primary page can be an option in avoiding this confusion.  

The information above is from the W3C website.