Creating Accessible Content

Drupal version 7, the Content Management System behind all websites in Arts & Sciences, was designed for accessibility. The Drupal community has committed to ensuring that all features of Drupal core conform with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0

Nevertheless, there are a number of things that content creators can do to ensure your sites provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities.

The following tips are based on a portion of the WCAG 2.0 standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Perceivable

Provide text alternatives for non-text content.

  • Include alternative text for every image. Use helpful descriptions of photos, diagrams or charts to describe the content and how it relates to the text on the page.
  • Images that are links must have alt text that describes the landing page, preferably the page title and/or h1 text—not a description of the image.
  • Keep text to “tweet length," 140 characters or less If the image needs further explanation, describe it in the inline text or a link to a separate page.
  • Avoid using images of text such as an image of a flyer. Instead, add the text to the page so that it can be accessed by a screen reader and so that visitors can manipulate the size of the font.

Use graphics that do not rely solely on color to convey meaning

  • graphs and charts should use text labels and/or fill patterns rather than color alone.

Operable

Make sure link text does not match taxonomy terms

  • This would result in matching links to different locations - which makes navigation of your site unclear.

Give users enough time to read and use the content.

  • Keep captions on moving slide images short and to the point.

Do not use content that causes seizures.

  • Web pages must not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period. Keep this in mind when adding video to your site.

Understandable

Make text readable and understandable.

  • Web pages should have titles that describe the topic or purpose clearly and concisely. 
  • Page titles should be unique within a site. Duplicate page titles are confusing and will also harm your page ranking in Search engines.
  • Text should be supplemented with illustrations, videos, and other formats where appropriate.

Navigation and information structure should be discernable and consistent.

  • The purpose of each link should be able to be determined from the link text alone. Link texts should be written so they make sense out of context. Generic texts such as “Click here” and “More” give no indication as to the destination of the links. Instead, try "click this link to google.com to go to the page." This is because screen readers will offer visitors the option to simply hear a list of links on a page. More descriptive linked text makes it easier for visitors to navigate through the list of links.
  • Proper heading hierarchy will ensure screen readers find and read the list headings in the correct order. Headings should be nested so that a Heading 3 is only used following a Heading 2. In other words, never use Headings to simply give a page larger text. 

Accessibility Resources and Further Information

General information and guidelines for accessible web design may be found on the W3C Website: https://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility

Web Accessibility in Mind (Web AIM) has a mission to empower organizations to make their web content accessible to people with disabilities: http://webaim.org/

Looking for Training?Accessibility training for Web Content Administrators in Arts & Sciences is available through Siteimprove. Contact Amy Baker if you would like to take the self-paced online training course.