Executive Summary of UH Web Accessibility Standards

All University web pages should be accessible in some form to those with disabilities, be they technological barriers (slow modems) or physical barriers (users with impaired vision). This is not just State law, but good sense: the more users who can access your information the better.

This is not a legal document. The information here is based on satisfying the State of Texas World Wide Web Design and Coding Guidelines, in particular the Web Accessibility Guidelines. To satisfy the legal requirements, UH web site pages should make every effort to adhere to the WC3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The University guidelines below are derived from the W3C guidelines, and provide direct links to the W3C web site.

No matter what bells, whistles, or applets you wish to decorate your hypertext information with, ensure that no one is barred from i) navigating through your pages and ii) accessing the information on those pages. This is the same spirit as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which presently ensures no one is barred from accessing any physical University property (ie., access ramps, braille signs, etc.). Note this isn't a dictate that all users experience your pages equally, only that all users can access them equally. For example, blind users surf the web using "readers" which speak the contents of a page, including the hyperlinks used for navigation. This does not mean you cannot embed pictures on pages, just that these pictures should also have text-equivalents embedded, such as "alt" tags on images or image maps.

 

UH Accessibility Coordinators:

For Students:
Cheryl Amoruso - Director
Director, Center for Students with DisABILITIES

For Staff & Faculty:
Dr. Richard Baker, Office of Affirmative Action

in general

  • 1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ascii art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.
  • 2.1 Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
  • 4.1 Clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document's text and any text equivalents (e.g., captions).
  • 6.1 Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document.
  • 6.2 Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.
  • 7.1 Until user agents allow users to control flickering, avoid causing the screen to flicker.
  • 14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content.

hyperlinks

  • Make certain every hyperlink on your page can be accessed with keyboard commands alone. For example, hitting the TAB-key on your keyboard should advance to every link on a page, whether the link is textual or defined on an image map or applet.
  • 13.1 Make hyperlinks descriptive. Avoid using the text "click here" for links, or include an "alt" or "title" tag inside the link with more descriptive content.

images and image maps

  • 1.2 Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map.
  • 9.1 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

tables

  • 5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers.
  • 5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.

frames

  • 12.1 Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.
  • 12.2 Describe the purpose of frames and how frames relate to each other if it is not obvious by frame titles alone.

applets and scripts

  • 6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.

multimedia

  • 1.3 Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text equivalent of a visual track, provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation.
  • 1.4 For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g., a movie or animation), synchronize equivalent alternatives (e.g., captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track) with the presentation.

forms

  • 4.11 Ensure that forms and form controls are accessible from keyboards and text-only environments.

and if all else fails...

  • 11.4 If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.

for further information

...Transform Gracefully...