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 Development Tools and Resources, in particular, Developing Accessible Web Content. To satisfy the legal requirements, UH website page creators and editors should make every effort to adhere to the WC3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
No matter what bells, whistles, or applets you wish to decorate your website information with, ensure that no one is barred from:
- navigating through your pages, and
- 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
Director, Student Accessibility Center
For Staff & Faculty:
Executive Director, Digital Accessibility
State of Texas Accessibility References
Helpful Accessibility Resources
- Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- The WAI is the W3C's official accessibility arm and has resources including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. and a detailed full checklist for accessibility.
- JAWS is a popular screen-reader used by the visually impaired; free trial versions are available for download.
- Section 508
- Section 508 details the Federal government's accessibility guidelines.
- Section 508 Webinar
- Two-part, two-hour Webinar discussing the section 255/508 refresh.
- IBM Accessibility
- IBM maintains a "Human Ability and Accessibility Center" with everything from news to developer tools to a screen reader.
- Mac OS Accessibility Features
- The Macintosh OS has many accessibility features built into the operating system.