UA has recently released it's Web Resources Accessibility policy and you have probably received an email about it. If not, below is a copy of the announcement from Dr. Rachel Thompson, Director of The Faculty Resource Center. Let me know should you have any questions or concerns regarding the accessibility of your website.
The University of Alabama (UA) is committed to ensuring equal access to information, programs, and activities for all its constituents, including individuals with disabilities. Everyone in the UA community has some responsibility when it comes to creating documents, images, audio, video, and web content accessible to users with disabilities.
You have been identified as a potential digital content creator for The University of Alabama through your position type, via IT records, or by a UA technology accessibility liaison. If your duties or responsibilities include creating, managing, sharing, or procuring digital content via a UA web site or another University-affiliated medium (example: departmental social media), please read and prepare to follow The University of Alabama Web Resources Accessibility policy (https://www.ua.edu/about/policies/files/Web-Resources-Accessibility-Policy.pdf), which was approved in late 2018. In November 2019, the University’s technology accessibility team will begin reviewing UA web resources for compliance with this policy.
This policy applies to public-facing web resources, campus-wide web resources, and web resources needed to conduct core University administrative and academic functions. Please note – these requirements also apply to documents or publications created for print, but that are posted online via pdf or other digital file format. Anyone responsible for creating, dissemination, selecting, or purchasing web resources on behalf of UA (students, faculty, staff, contractors, and volunteers) should do the following:
1. Review the policy.
2. Identify digital content in your purview that is covered by the policy.
3. Review the WCAG 2.0 A/AA success criteria pertinent to that content.
4. Address accessibility needs via remediation or development of an equivalent access plan.
Learn what you can do to make the web more accessible and usable to everyone; visit http://accessibility.ua.edu to access training and other resources (https://accessibility.ua.edu/accessibilityresources). Thank you for your efforts to make The University of Alabama more inclusive and accessible for all!
Dr. Rachel S. Thompson
Director, Faculty Resource Center
The Office of Information Technology
Introduction to Screen Readers
One of the major points we emphasize is the concept of accessibility. As you design your website, it is essential to remember that people of different abilities will be accessing your site. Poor design can create barriers to accessibility. To illustrate this concept, today we will discuss screen readers and how your website's features can help or hinder their performance.
A screen reader is a software application that interprets the content on a computer screen to a format that can be accessed by visually impaired people. Commonly, screen readers convert visual text to spoken words to which the person can listen.
Here is a highly informative video showing a screen reader in action:
As demonstrated in the video, the layout of a website is important to its accessibility. The distinction between titles and body text becomes essential to a site's ease of access. It can be tempting to use the "Title" element to make text big and bold, but if the content is not actually a title, the screen reader becomes less effective in examining the content of a page.
If you would like to edit the size and boldness of text to emphasize it, edit the text of the "Paragraph" element to do so rather than using the "Title" element. Make your text bold, italicized, underlined, a different color, larger, or smaller, all from the blue toolbar that appears as you edit the content of the "Paragraph" element. For instructions on how to do so, visit our First Elements page of our Online Training Guide: http://www.people.ua.edu/first-elements.html
For more information about accessibility, visit our Accessibility Guidelines page: http://www.people.ua.edu/accessibility-guidelines.html
There, you will find a fun and educational infographic on the best design practices for your website.
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