The University of Alabama is a diverse institution and providing equity in every facet of its operations is an important goal.
The University continues to expand its efforts in this area by ensuring its web content is accessible to those with disabilities.
Last fall, the University approved an accessibility policy requiring those who produce websites, images, audio, video, documents and other online content to make their content accessible.
Accessibility allows everyone, including people with disabilities, the opportunity to acquire the same information. It enables everyone to engage and interact with the content in a manner that’s equally effective, integrated and easy to use.
“If you have a video, it needs captions for people who are deaf and hard of hearing,” said Dr. Rachel S. Thompson, director of the Faculty Resource Center in the Office of Information Technology. “For websites there are things you can do like add descriptions of the images. All of that is detailed on our website.”
On Tuesday, Thompson will send an email to all University online content creators, including students who fall into that category.
The email will serve as a reminder to everyone that they share in the responsibility of making the Capstone accessible and inclusive, and that all web content needs to meet the University’s accessibility guidelines by November, when it will be reviewed by UA’s technology accessibility team to see if it complies with the policy’s standards.
Here is a link to the policy: Web Resources Accessibility Policy.
“We’ve been working on this since 2015, and we’ve had other efforts before that,” Thompson said. “We’ve now got a campuswide policy and are moving on to the universal implementation phase of the process.”
Thompson said the policy applies to public-facing web resources, campuswide web resources and web resources needed to conduct core University administrative and academic functions. These requirements also apply to documents or publications created for print, but that are posted online via PDF or other digital file format.
Anyone responsible for creating, disseminating, selecting or purchasing web resources on behalf of UA – students, faculty, staff, contractors and volunteers — should do the following:
- Review the policy.
- Identify digital content in their purview that is covered by the policy.
- Review the WCAG 2.0 A/AA success criteria pertinent to that content.
- Address accessibility needs via remediation or development of an equivalent access plan.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.