It is important to ensure your website is accessible to students with disabilities. UWSP adheres to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and recommends meeting the WCAG AA standards for accessibility. This means you are required to develop your website in accordance with these guidelines as closely as you can.
What you can do to make your site accessible
Provide Text Alternatives for Images
Fill in the alt tag on all of the images in your site. The alt tag contains text that is either displayed instead of the image for people using text-only browsers, or read aloud when using a screen reader.
The alt text should describe the contents of the image rather than being used as an opportunity to stuff more keywords into your site.
Make sure there's enough contrast between text on the page and the background so that text is easily readable. Light text on a light background or dark text on a dark background is difficult to read. If you use our default text, heading and link colors you will have no issue with contrast, but if you customize an element to use a different (approved) color you should keep the contrast in mind.
The WCAG AA standard requires a contrast ratio of 4.5:1. There are a number of online applications and browser plugins that will analyze your webpage and tell you the contrast ratio of different elements and whether they meet different accessibility standards. The ratio depends on the differece between the text color and the background color, but is also affected by the font size. A color which fails at a small font size may pass at a larger size. For example, the standard Orange Type color from the style guide fails the contrast test when it is used for 13px type, but passes at 24px.
||#f15a22 Orange Type 13px|
||#f15a22 Orange Type 24px
Descriptive Link Text
Many screen readers have the option to allow the user to skip from link to link on a page to let them more quickly find what they are looking for. The user will only hear the text that is inside of the link no matter what the surrounding text is, or what the link leads to. This feature is rendered useless when the link text is undescriptive phrases like "click here", "read more", "continue", "more...". The user has no idea where the link will lead them!
NO: To view our course catalog click here
YES: UW-Stevens Point Course Catalog
A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to take the links completely out of their context on the page and still have a decent idea of what that link would take you to if you clicked it. Our Academics landing page is a very good example of this. Let your eyes jump from link to link, you know where each one will take you without having to read the words around it.
Adding descriptive link text is also good for search engine optimization. Google gives more weight to the words inside the link than the words surrounding the link, especially if they are descriptive of the content they lead to.
Alternative Content for Videos and Sound Recordings
Just like we need to provide text that is readable by a screen reader for vision-impaired users, we also need to provide alternate content for those with hearing difficulties. Videos should have captions, or provide a transcript, and transcripts for audio-only content.