Information exchange has changed considerably in recent decades. Instead of mechanical means of information distribution, Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) have opened up a whole new world for all of us and allow access to information through numerous channels.
Websites are a way to compile, categorize and distribute information. When developing sites, web accessibility is important.
What is web accessibility?
Simply put, web accessibility means providing everyone equal access to online resources including webpages, associated documents and multimedia. An accessible website can pay big dividends by reaching more people who may want to attend Texas A&M, utilize our valuable resources or take part in the myriad of events available within our campus community.
Why is web accessibility important?
- Important: An accessible Web provides equal access and equal opportunity for everyone.
- Making your site more accessible can increase traffic on your site, improve your site's usability, and raise your search rankings.
- There are federal and state regulations which require public universities to have accessible websites.
Want to learn more? Visit Introduction to Web Accessibility.
What do you need to know?
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.