The term “accessible” is often synonymous with “available.” It is important to know the difference between web content being available to the public, and accessible web content.
At SUNY Brockport, we are committed to accessibility throughout the University’s web presence. To ensure our website is accessible, we adhere to World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Guidelines and strive to achieve WCAG AA level compliance.
The WCAG Guidelines define how to make web content more accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, learning, language, cognitive, etc. When we make our content accessible it works with assistive technologies like screen readers, speech-to-text, screen magnifiers, keyboards, and more.
- Images containing text, like flyers, posters, and infographics are inaccessible to users who are visually impaired. We will not use any image containing text.
- Each image used on the University’s website must have alternative text or be marked decorative if it serves no other purpose than just being decorative for a page.
- To make an image accessible, you must add alternative text. Alternative text is used to explain to visually impaired users of what is in an image.
- When creating alternative text, you want to provide a concise description of what is in an image. When a screen reader comes across alternative text it indicates there is an image, so avoid using phrases such as “photo of” or “image of.” Some screen readers cut off alternative text after 125-150 characters, so it is important that you keep your alternative text to less than 125 characters.
Poor: Photo of students in a dorm room.
Better: Students sitting on their beds in a dorm room.
Best: Two Brockport students sitting on their beds on opposite sides of their dorm room in McFarlane Hall.
- Users who use screen readers can browse hyperlinks, which means that links are indicated without any surrounding text. Avoid using phrases like “here,” “click here,” or “learn more” as they don’t indicate where the link goes. Use meaningful, concise wording for hyperlinks that describes where the link goes.
Poor: “Click here to learn how to submit a web request.”
Better: “Visit our Web Requests page to learn how to submit a web request.”
- According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), automatic captioning does not meet accessibility requirements unless confirmed to be fully accurate.
- If you would like to add a video to a page, it must be captioned.
- There are various softwares and services you can use to create captions:
- Heading tags indicate how content is organized on a page.
- Headings must be used in proper order to appropriately organize content, if they are out of order this will make it harder for those who use screen readers to understand the content.
- It is important that headings are appropriately used for information hierarchy and not for decoration or visual emphasis.
- Tables are mainly used to display data.
As noted by WebAIM, some screen readers do not fully support complex tables (tables with columns or rows spanning across multiple table cells or containing multiple headers).
- If you have a complex table, we would ask you to either reorganize the table or break it down into multiple simpler tables. This also applies to tables used in documents.
- Various screen readers read empty table cells differently, some say “blank” and some say nothing at all, which can confuse users that use screen readers. We would ask that you fill in your empty table cells with either, “N/A”, “Not Applicable”, or “No Value” depending on the information that your table is providing.
- Graphs are generally inaccessible as they may contain poor color contrast, multiple sets of data, or would exceed the 125 character cutoff for alternative text for images.
- If you would like to utilize a chart, you can create one using Microsoft’s Power BI application and then link your chart on a page.
- Documents posted on our website must be made accessible. To make a document accessible, please refer to our Document Accessibility Process.