Accessibility is a high priority issue for the Board of Regents (BoR) of the University System of Georgia (USG). By endorsing Web accessibility guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), USG enables full access to institutional information, programs and activities offered through the Web. To this end:
The Advanced Learning Technologies group* developed background information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and higher education institutions’ responsibilities for providing accessible websites and learning environments.
The BoR has established a Web Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities resource**, a comprehensive site detailing accessibility guidelines and tools for all USG institutions.
Since June 2001, every effort has been made to design and develop Web pages that comply with or exceed the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). In addition, USG has been actively revising Web pages created before June 2001 to meet W3C accessibility standards.
*The Advanced Learning Technologies group is no longer active.
**This resource was initially hosted at the University of Georgia.
University System of Georgia Web Accessibility Guidelines
WCAG are prioritized on a scale from 1 to 3, with Priority 1 being a set of guidelines (or checkpoints) that must be satisfied or “one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document.” Paragraphs (a) through (k) correspond to WCAG Priority 1 guidelines; paragraphs (l) through (p) are additions that, when used in conjunction with the WCAG guides, meet accessibility standards detailed in Section 508 Subsection 1194.22 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content).
(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with Section 1194.21(a) through (l).
(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
Web Accessibility Resources
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) - A set of guidelines explaining how to make Web content accessible to those with disabilities.
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) - WAI, in coordination with organizations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.
- Section 508 Home Page - Section 508 requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.
- Web Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities - A comprehensive site detailing accessibility guidelines and tools maintained for University System of Georgia institutions.