Our Web Services team is in charge of functional aspects of web accessibility, such as making sure our web pages are able to used with assistive technology.

  • Site-wide publishes are done regularly to reach new accessibility goals and to maintain web integrity.
  • Departmental web publishers have the power to create, edit, and publish their department's web content.

Through training and working together, we continue to make our website stay on the forefront of accessibility guidelines.

Quick Checks for OU Campus Web Publishers

check icon  Provide text alternatives for images

check icon  Caption all audio and video content

check icon  Use Heading Levels to assist in scanning

check icon  Use Proper Color Ratios

check icon  Make Links Descriptive and Actionable

check icon  Ensure tables are used for data only

check icon  Indicate non-html doc type with brackets [PDF]

check icon  Make links unique

check icon  Check PDFs for accessibility tags

check icon  Complete each page's Properties

Website Accessibility Compliance Trainings


 


Paving the Way for Web Users

Creating pages that are both concise and outlined in a logical way is an essential part of allowing everyone to access and understand your information. A page could be easy to read, but if the information is not structured and condensed in a way that makes sense to your audience, then users will not read your content at all. 

Writing for the Web

When you are writing content for your department's web pages, imagine you are going to your page for the first time to get resources about your department or program.

Then, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where would I want to go first?
  • Which resources would be most beneficial to me?
  • What is hindering my access to useful information on this page?

Navigating Menus

The navigation, also known as a menu, of each page is essential to a positive user experience.

  • The amount and order of links you choose can impact whether or not your user gets the content they need.
  • This needs to be logical.
  • Users need to know what to expect based on your menu's layout.

For example, if you go to our Web Services' landing page, the page has a horizontal navigation that says the following:

  • About
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Training
  • Tools
  • Calendar
  • Work Request

Web Services Menu Example

When our team developed the content for this section, we determined which resources and what information would be most needed and and most useful to the audience of our pages: web publishers.

It, then, became a logical choice to ensure we placed links like "Policies & Guidelines," "Training," and "Work Request."

Navigating Further 

 Your choice whether or not to include drop-downs in your menu and what is in those drop-downs should also be logical.

  1. Think about what your audience often asks about as well as what you want them to have easy access to.
  2. Figure out in which area the topic fits.
  3. Add it to the navigation as a subpoint to the parent topic.

Since all web publishers need to attend training courses, it is extremely logical to have "Training" as a link on our navigation with a drop-down.

We knew it was also important for only relevant content to appear in the "Training" drop-down. Because of this we chose the following:

  • Sign up for Web Training and Workshops
  • Beginner Topics
  • Intermediate Topics
  • Advanced Topics
  • References
  • Web Governance
  • Training Video Library
 Web Services Training Menu Drop-down example

Think of the navigation of your section as a roadmap highlighting the major landmarks of your target audience's journey. And remember it is best, in a menu, to avoid link to the same page multiple times.  

Always Describe your LINKS

Once you have mapped out where you want to place links, it's time to consider the text you use to label your links.

When you link something, you get to choose the text that will show on the page, also known as the “link text” or “Text to Display." All link text should be unique, actionable and informative, always letting the user know, with or without context, where it will take them.

Do use a text description: Go to Augusta University’s registration page.
Don’t use a URL: http://www.augusta.edu/2019/registration=information/hP76unChl97nzdNMRqrTP

Assistive Technology and Links


What does Assistive Technology do?
·        Scans your page
·        Generate a list of every link on your page.
·        Allows user to quickly skim through the link content and lets them jump from link to link. 

If you would like more information about how to insert or edit links within OU Campus, please check out our Training Resource pages or consider signing up for an OU Campus training course.


How Language Can Be a barrier

Of course, grammar always matters, but what really matters most on the web is offering users as much quality information as you can in a small amount of time.

To accomplish this:

Use
  • As few words as possible
  • A 10th Grade Reading Level
  • Bulleted lists to highlight important points
  • Numbered lists to break down steps
Avoid
  • Directional language, such as see the menu to the left 
  • Generic phrases like "Learn More." 
  • Industry-specific jargon

Remember, even out of context, links need to provide information to the user.


Heading Levels

Heading Levels create a structure for web pages, much like an outline. If used correctly, headings allow everyone to quickly navigate all of the information on a web page. 

In OU Campus, we have the option to choose Heading Levels one through six.

Quick Tips for headings


Documents

Frequently, instead of creating a brand new webpage for some information, we just upload a document for people to refer to.  That’s perfectly acceptable (and in some cases preferable), but there are rules regarding documents and accessibility. 

  • Use PDFs instead of Microsoft Office documents, such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
  • PDFs are browser-based, which means that if someone can look at the website, they can look at your PDF.  
  • Microsoft Office documents are computer based – and so are dependent on your user’s computer to open.  If someone does not have Word on their computer or phone, they’re not going to be able to view your document.

How to Make PDFs Accessible

In Microsoft Word for Windows, Mac, and in Word Online, you can add tags for accessibility, automatically when you save a file in PDF format. This allows users to read the PDF by using large-type displays, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones. 

  1. Click “Save As” or “Export” in the Word/Excel/PowerPoint document you’d like to create a PDF from.
  2. Change the file format to “PDF” 
  3. Check for Accessibility Tags
    • On Mac, you need to click “Best for electronic distribution and accessibility.” 
    • On Windows, you need to click “Options”, and then make sure the “Document Structure tags for Accessibility” box is checked, and then click “OK”
  4. Add [PDF] to the end of your link text to indicate the document type.

Scanned Images are not accessible! 

Steps to Verify a PDF is accessible

Images, Audio, and Video

Images and Text Equivalents

Images can be useful, when they supplement text. However, photos, illustrations, graphics, charts, maps, and other types of images present significant obstacles for learners who cannot see the images. All non-decorative images need alternative text (alt text) that helps viewers percieve and understand the image's content. 

Descriptions are needed, too, for users on a slow internet connection. Without a effective description in place, an image is pointless.

NO images of text, flyers, or posters

Use Proper Color Ratios

Caption all audio and video content

 

Properties

Complete each page's Properties

 

Resorces and Checkers