Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility means that all people can use the Web. That means our goal as web designers and developers is to insure that anyone visiting can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with our websites in a meaningful way. Basically we should all be striving for fair and equitable use of our web products by anyone willing to visit them. So are Web Accessibility standards a state mandate? Absolutely they are! Just look at Federal Manate Section 508*! But it is also the just the right thing to include when constructing a website from a human perspective.

*Section 508 - all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. 

Moving Towards Web Accessibility

There are many ways to ensure Web Accessibility and it may seem like a daunting task. However often times the just the act of persistantly moving towards a level of Web Accessibility "compliance" is the very best direction to take. Here are 3 easy ways to begin to move in a direction of Web Accessibility.

  1. Understanding and Implementing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) when creating new content
  2. Auditing previously created content using the WCAG standards
  3. Collaborating with all individuals to better understand how they use the web.

What needs to be audited?

WCAG guidelines span everything from html markup for developers to controls for content editors to easily apply specific standards when adding/editing content. On a standard Rowan webpage, the major page elements we may need to address are:

  • Images
  • Body Content
    • Text
    • Headings
    • Tables
    • Attachments (pdf, word docs, etc)
  • Video

 

Resources for Web Accessibility

For further questions regarding University Disability Resources, please visit their website.