As a public institution, accessibility is not only a legal requirement for UNC Asheville per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s also a key aspect of the university’s identity. Making content accessible of all of our users is one way for us to live our core values of diversity and inclusion and should be considered as part of our university brand.
In this context, “accessibility” refers to making our digital content consumable for users who have visual, auditory or motor skill impairments and utilize assistive technologies such as screen readers and text-only browsers. It’s important that we make our web content accessible to the greatest number of people possible.
Constructing pages within the WordPress CMS will assist editors in creating accessible content by prompting them for “alt” tags, for example. The templates within WordPress have been designed to meet Level I of the WC3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All web editors should familiarize themselves with these standards and attempt to maintain at least this level of accessibility.
For accessibility questions or to schedule a training with the university’s web team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Always include descriptive Alternative (Alt) text when inserting images using the editor. The Alt text is what is read aloud to users with a screen reader.
- Create hyperlinks with descriptive text, like “Download the Student Handbook” or “Watch the Tutorial.”
- Ensure any time-dependent multimedia content can be stopped stopped and started by the user.
- Always include closed-captions with video content.
- Include transcripts of audio content whenever possible.
- Include an in-text description anytime you post an image, movie, or other content that can’t be accessed by a screen-reader.
- For tables, always use table headers (<th>) and table captions to properly structure any table you create.
- Make sure your color combinations are accessible for legibility. Consult this color chart, or test your colors with this online contrast checker.
- Ever use a table unless you are presenting tabular data. Never use it to format a list of events, create a “multi-column” layout, or for any reason besides sharing data.
- Post any flyers or posters as images without also including the text of the image in an accessible format. For example, if your flyer contains information about the time, date, and cost of your event, you will need to type that into your webpage somewhere so our visually-impaired users can access it. Another option would be to post the flyer as an accessible PDF. A good way to see if text within a graphic is accessible is to try to select it with your mouse. If you can’t highlight it, screen reading software (used by visually-impaired users) would also not be able to read it. Generally, PDFs are accessible, but you should always double-check.
- Post any videos that do not have closed captions. Textual transcripts may be an acceptable alternative in limited circumstances.
- Use Click here or This when creating links. Instead, be descriptive in your link text.
- Use flashing images and text.