Web Accessibility

Since Web Development Services tests your site's theme, your responsibility towards helping the University be accessible to all its students and employees lies in how you write and format your content.

Content is most accessible when it meets several key goals:

  • It is written clearly and succinctly, making it easy for users of all abilities to skim and understand.
  • It is structured using "real" formatting like headings and lists rather than purely visual styling, so that screen readers and other assistive devices can detect how the content has been organized.
  • Alternatives are provided for rich media: closed captioning and transcripts for video and audio, and good alternative text for images.

These are explored in detail on the OIT Digital Accessibility site's How To Create Accessible Content:

  1. Alternative text describes each image's meaning in context.
  2. Headings are formatted as H1/H2/H3 elements, not just big bold text.
  3. Lists are formatted as lists, not just symbols and numbers.
  4. Tables have real header cells, not just background colors.
  5. Color contrast is strong enough for users with low vision or colorblindness.
  6. Meaningful links are self-explanatory even out of context (unlike "click here").
  7. Identify languages for screen readers: "Español" without a language tag is "A Spaniel."
  8. Avoid using images of text.
  9. Avoid using layout tables as fake columns.
  10. Avoid using sensory characteristics that disappear with layout or color perception changes ("the red items in the right-hand column").
  11. Avoid using color alone to provide meaning.

Once a site is ready, it should be submitted for review before launch.

Classes and Guides

Automated Checkers

When site owners are editing content, the Editoria11y accessibility checker automatically highlights items that may present an accessibility issue.

  • On each page, a toggle in the bottom right corner will activate and indicate a count if potential issues are found.
  • Clicking the toggle opens a panel with more details, highlighting the items on the page that need review.
  • The panel may also open automatically just after a page is created or edited (if the issue count changed when the page was saved).
  • Clicking the toggle again closes the panel and removes all the highlights.

Check out our Site Builder Version 2 documentation site for complete details on using Editoria11y.

Since Editoria11y only checks content (not design), sites with custom styles or embeds should use additional testing tools to check their color choices and code.