Under the Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 agencies receiving federal funding must provide access to information technology, including website content, to people with disabilities that is comparable to the access available to others.
Goals of an Accessible Website
- Perceivable by all the senses, vision and hearing primarily, either through the browser or through assistive technologies, screen readers, screen enlargers and such.
- Operable using a mouse, keyboard and assistive devices.
- Understandable, clear and limits confusion and ambiguity.
- Robust for a wide range of technologies, including old and new, can access the content.
Disability Types to Consider
- Visual impairments blindness, low-vision and color blindness.
- Auditory impairments such as hearing loss and deafness.
- Motor function disabilities impairing the use of the mouse and/or keyboard.
- Cognitive and neurological disabilities that affect memory, problem-solving, attention and comprehension, including everything from traumatic brain injury to dyslexia.
- Seizure conditions that may be triggered by flickering graphics, Flash or video.
- Accessibility features benefit everyone not just people with disabilities.
- Search engines, like Google, rate sites higher when accessibility features are in place. Lynda.com course, Improving SEO using Accessibility Techniques.
- to add alternate text to images,
- appropriately use color,
- caption and audio describe media,
- make documents (pdfs and Microsoft Office) accessible and
- about additional issues with tables, forms, acronyms, foreign languages and scripts.
- Finally, use these simple tools to test the accessibility of your site.
Quick Overview: Everyone is different!
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is all about spreading the word about digital accessibility and inclusion far and wide. A11y Bytes teamed up with UX Mastery to created a short video all about embracing differences and creating delightful experiences for everyone.
Watch the Video on YouTube
Need More Guidance
The Web team are not experts on the law or policies and do not enforce them. You are responsible for the content on your website. For authoritative guidance please contact the University ADAAA/Section 504/EIR Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Maedgen at email@example.com in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement or find guidance from the university’s Services For Students with Disabilities website. Finally, familiarize yourself with the university’s Web Accessibility Policy.
Great overview, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines—for People Who Haven’t Read Them. More in-depth articles and resources for improving websites for all visitors at http://webaim.org. Lynda.com course, Improving SEO using Accessibility Techniques. View the History of Digital Accessibility Liability infographic. Visit the National Association of ADA Coordinators website to learn about litigation and other alerts related to the the American’s with Disabilities Act and here is a list of legislation specific to higher education.