Any electronic content created using state or federal funds must adhere to the guidelines laid out in Section 508 of the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Concerning the website, this means that anything that goes on the Delta College website is required by state and federal law to be accessible for all site visitors regardless of ability.
The Delta College website was designed and developed in accordance with Section 508 guidelines. You are only responsible for the accessibility of the content you add to pages. This includes text, PDFs, images, videos, and audio.
When adding written content to your web pages, the most important rule is to use the WYSIWYG Toolbar which adds styles to your text with the proper markup to meet accessibility guidelines. Other things to be aware of are:
- Use the correct headings structure
- Only use the colors available provided in the WYSIWYG Toolbar (these have all been identified as accessible styles)
- Do not use all capital letters
- Use clear language
- Use meaningful labels for your links (i.e. instead of "Click here" say "Find out more about Admissions")
- Expand abbreviations (i.e. use February instead of Feb.)
- Proper use of tables and lists (ordered and unordered)
PDFs are the most common culprit when it comes to inaccessible files being uploaded to the website. To make your PDFs accessible you need to add tags, bookmarks, alternative text, and other information so that a person who is visually or mobility impaired can still read and navigate the file.
Some tips for creating accessible PDFs:
- Start with the original source of the document (i.e. a Microsoft Word Document). Export the Word Document as a PDF and check the option for Best for electronic distribution and accessibility.
- Use Adobe Acrobat Professional which has a built-in accessibility checker as well as tools to fix some accessibility errors.
- Scanned documents rendered into PDFs are not accessible - start with the original document!
- Use Lynda.com (free with your Delta College email) to watch tutorials on creating accessible PDFs.
Images, Video and Audio
All images, video and audio files included on the website must be accessible.
For images, this is usually solved by using an alternative tag, which uses text to describe the content of the image. For the most part, images can also be marked as decorative, meaning they do not communicate any additional content and screen readers will skip over them.
All video and audio that are added to the website are required to be captioned and/or include a transcript. This must be completed prior to adding them to the website.