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Consistent with state and federal law, the University has made a commitment to maximizing accessibility for all users.  Through consultation among University Legal Counsel, the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity and Public Relations UK has committed that all Web sites be compliant with Federal Section 508 regulations and state accessibility law.  Units are encouraged, where resources permit, to ensure that all Web pages are compliant with these laws.

For Federal regulations, "compliance with state law " is currently understood to be meeting Section 508 Standards and Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 developed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

Here are the primary review elements of Section 508:

  1. *Text Equivalent - All non-text items (e.g., photos, images, logos, banners) must contain text relaying a comparable meaning of information.
  2. Multimedia presentation - Alternatives (e.g., captioning) must be synchronized with the presentation.
  3. *Color - Any information conveyed by color must also be conveyed by some other means.
  4. Organization - The basic document must be readable without the application of style sheets
  5. Client-side image maps - Client-side maps should be used for all maps with definable geometric shapes (ex., www.mc.uky.edu/keri/districts.html).
  6. *Data Tables - Row and Column headers must be defined (ex., www.uky.edu/PR/News/DeansList/Spring09/international.htm).
  7. Multi-logic row or column headers - Markup must be used for complex tables with multiple layers of information such as expense reports.
  8. Frames - Must be titled and organized so that users may disassociate and link between them as needed.
  9. Flicker - The "flicker" of pages must be outside proscribed ranges (greater than 4 Hz and lower than 59 Hz - explanation at www.w3.org/WAI/wcag-curric/sam60-0.htm).
  10. Text-only equivalent pages - When other methods do not work, text-only pages must be employed.
  11. Scripting Language - Output from scripting languages must be a text form readable by assistive technology.
  12. Applets and plug-ins - Must come with links to download the appropriate technology (pdf's, flash, etc.).
  13. Forms to be Filled-out Online - Must be designed for use by all users (i.e., consider implications of "pop-up" instructions).
  14. *Content Tracking - Method shall be employed which allows users to skip repetitive navigation links.
  15. Timed Response - When response times are set users must be given a method to indicate more time is required.

*Based on experience, these are the most common accessibility errors found on UK Web sites:

  1. Images lacking alternate text (“alt tags”)
  2. Improperly constructed data tables (calendars, contact lists, schedules, reports over time, etc.) (see www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/tables.html).
  3. Absence of “Skip Navigation” which allows a user with a text reader the option to skip over navigation when first entering a page and move directly to the main content of the page. (Invisible - <a href="#main"><img src="/Graphics/shim.gif" alt="Skip main navigation and go to main body of page." width="1" height="1" border="0"></a>, Visible - <a href="#main">Skip nav<img src="/Graphics/Skipnav.gif" alt="Skip to main content (for screen readers and PDAs)" border="0"></a> then at the very beginning of the content <a name="main" id="main"></a>) (see www.uky.edu/PR/News/Archives/)
  4. Use of color alone to convey information or use of hard to read color combinations.
  5. Use of link phrases that do not make sense out of context (e.g., “click here”).
  6. Absence of DOCTYPE statements at the beginning of the HTML (<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">) (additional resource - A Minimal HTML Document).
  7. Failure to use list tags for lists, principally navigation menus which are almost always lists (see www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/lists.html).
  8. Failure to use <LABEL> tags in forms (see President Todd's speech requests form and examples in SitePoint newsletter article).

Many of the above can easily be checked by using Accessible Information Solutions (AIS) team of Vision Australia's Web Accessibility Toolbar Image of partial AIS Accessiblilty Toolbar (demonstration).

OK, enough about policies, on to Site Reviews...


This site was last updated on June 21, 2011 . Please direct questions and comments regarding this page to UK Public Relations.

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