The campuswide initiative to promote accessible technology is directed by Texas A&M Information Technology Accessibility Services, a coordinated team of subject matter experts who have backgrounds in accessibility policy and compliance. As required by state law, Texas A&M has designated an Electronic and Information Resources Accessibility Coordinator (EIRAC) who leads Accessibility Services by planning strategically, consulting with stakeholders, monitoring compliance through periodic reporting, facilitating training, and promoting campus awareness.
Accessibility Services performs these and other functions that support the University’s accessibility initiative:
- Develop and maintain Texas A&M’s accessibility policies and standards
- Answer questions and provide clarifications regarding Texas A&M’s accessibility policies and standards
- Process IT accessibility exception requests
Training and Advocacy
- Provide accessibility training and consultation to University employees
- Promote University-wide adoption of accessibility standards
- Increase accessibility awareness at Texas A&M
Compliance Monitoring and Reporting
- Manage and administer an enterprise-level automated web accessibility compliance testing tool
- Perform regular, automated web accessibility scanning and analysis of University websites
- Perform manual accessibility testing of University web applications and websites
- Develop quarterly and annual enterprise-level web accessibility compliance reports based on the results of the automated testing
- Monitor the University’s progress towards meeting accessibility compliance goals
- Receive and respond to requests for accommodation or complaints
Did you know?
- In the United States, about 55 million people have a disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
- About 1 in 5 Americans have some kind of disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
- The percentage of people affected by disabilities is growing as our population ages.
- Two popular, free screen readers are VoiceOver (Mac OS and iOS) and NVDA (Win).
- Good accessibility practices can improve the search ranking of your website.
- Form fields without labels can cause problems for some assistive technology users.
- Low color contrast makes content difficult to see, especially for users with low vision.
- Documents linked on a website need to be accessible too (e.g., PDF and Word files).
- Audio content, like podcasts, need transcripts for deaf or hard of hearing users.
- Online videos should be captioned for deaf or hard of hearing users.
- Using HTML tags correctly is very important for accessibility.
- Descriptive link text helps make a website more accessible. Avoid using "Click here" or "Read more."
- A "screen reader" is an application that reads content aloud to a user.
- There is no "alt tag" in HTML. "Alt" is an attribute used with the img tag.
- HTML uses the alt attribute to provide a text description of an image.
- Alt text should describe an image, if the purpose of the image is to convey information.
- If an image is a link, the alt text for the image should explain where the link goes.
- If an image is only being used for decoration, the alt text should be null (i.e., alt="").
- If a table has headers, using header tags (<th>) will make the table more accessible.
- An accessible website is one that can be navigated and understood by everyone.