Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect of the World Wide Web. One of the goals of Web Services is to make sure the College web site is accessible to persons with disabilities. Assistive technologies are used to interpret web pages into a medium that is adaptive to a particular disability.
Accessibility guidelines should be followed on all pages stored on the College web servers including Blackboard/WebCT course pages. Other resources include:
There are several things you can do to ensure your web page is accessible to persons with disabilities and conducive to these assistive technologies:
By far the most likely reason for lack of compliance is the absence of ALTernate Labels for images. Every image, including small icons, must have an ALT Label. Why? Because talking browsers can read the ALT Label and speak it to the user. The label needs to be descriptive. If the image is a link, ideally the alt text should read "Link to . . . " and the destination (in English, not the URL). There are other reasons for having ALT labels: they will appear in place of the image if the user has image loading switched off for speed, and they pop up as "Tip Text" when you mouse over the image on a Windows PC. Netscape Composer requires you to enter alternative text.
Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element and graphical representations of text (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes: images (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets, ASCII art, frames, scripts, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video. For graphical representations of text (e.g., button with Contact Us on it) provide a text link to the same location at the bottom of the page.
Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone who has trouble seeing colors or when viewed on a black and white screen.
Assistive technologies do not allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement (animation) in pages.
Frames are problematic, try to avoid them if possible.
To use the ALT Text Label: In composer, double click on the image. Near the middle of the Image Properties dialog box is a field called, Alternate Text. Type text describing what the image is or says. If it is a photo, say photo of College. If it is words, re-type the words. This will allow the special assistive readers to understand and interpret the photos correctly.