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Accessibility

Your Web pages should provide everyone, regardless of physical or technological readiness, access to information. The University has approved a Web Accessibility Policy with which all Web sites on campus must comply. To aid on-campus units and developers in achieving compliance, the Web Oversight Committee (WOC) has published the Accessibility Guidelines. Another great source of information on accessibility can be found through the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Vision-impaired users need to be able to transform text that they find illegible into a format they can read. Low-vision users need to be able to increase the type size and, along with colorblind users, need control over text and page background colors for maximum contrast.

Pay attention to the following type and layout attributes in your publications to accommodate users with visual disabilities.

Emphasis:
If you use color alone to achieve typographic emphasis, users who cannot distinguish the colors will miss the emphasis. Instead, use bold formatting. Try to avoid italics because they can be difficult to read on some monitors. Also avoid using colored backgrounds other than those provided within the Information Technology Services (ITS) templates.

Images:
Images should have "alternate text" associated with them so that visually impaired clients who cannot view the images may still understand the content. In addition, images should include an alt tag that contains a clear description of the image.

Tables:
Many blind users rely on software that reads Web pages aloud or outputs information to a speech synthesizer or Braille display. Current software looks at the HTML code of the pages and reads tables in a cell-by-cell (linear) fashion. This means that each cell of the table becomes a line or paragraph of text that is read in sequence. A complex layout containing multiple nested tables will produce confusion with unrelated information appearing from nowhere, disrupting the natural flow of the content. Therefore, use simple tables with meaningful titles.

URLs:

  • On the Web, use a descriptive name for your link. Avoid linking with words like "click here."

Example: Read more about this topic on the ITS Accessibility page.
not
Click here to read more about this topic.
not
Read more about Accessibility by visiting the ITS Accessibility page found at:
http://its.uncg.edu/style_guide/web/accessibility/

  • On paper, be sure to spell out the entire link. It is not necessary to include http://.

Example: Read about Accessibility at its.uncg.edu/style_guide/web/accessibility/.

Headings:
Be consistent in headings and lists to help readers follow your information. Do not use cryptic or clever headings; make sure a reader can easily determine a section's content based on the heading.