Accessibility means that your website should be easily navigated by people who have disabilities, such as low vision, blindness, hearing loss, mobile impairment that limits their use of the keyboard/mouse, etc. Oftentimes, people will use a software program to help them use the Web. There are software programs that read websites out loud, that enlarge the screen, or that translate voice commands into keystrokes.
Since about half of the population benefits from accessible websites, it is extremely important that you make your site accessible. Plus, higher education institutions will soon be required by law to be accessible, and Loyola needs your help in meeting that goal.
Quick and easy ways to make sure your site is compliant:
- All of your images should have alt tags (description of what the image is)
- Use "heading 3" and "heading 4" styles for sub-titles within your content (header and sub-head styles help people easily scan the content on your site to find what they’re looking for; software programs such as screen readers are designed to pick up on these styles)
- Descriptive link text (avoid “click here” at all cost! Links should be descriptive so people know what they’re clicking into without needing to skim the text around it for context. Don’t say, “To visit the engineering department website, click here.” Instead, say “Visit the engineering department website.”)
- Descriptive page titles (Sitecore auto-populates these for you based on the title of your page). Page titles are the text that shows up in your brower’s tab and in search listings.
- Sufficient color contrast (e.g., don't use a light grey font)
- Ability to use without a mouse (using the keyboard or voice control)
- Clear and accurate page content
- Use text (not images) for important information
- If you’re posting a PDF, make sure it is accessible
- If you’re posting a video, make sure you have a transcript available for people with hearing impairments
If you have questions about how to do any of these things, contact the office of marketing and communications at ext. 5025 or www.loyola.edu/marcomm/webupdate.
Learn more about Section 508 compliance.