What is Accessibility
The term accessibility is used throughout the website documents to refer to making something available to people with disabilities. When working with web content, this means writing content in such a way that accessibility devices, such as screen-readers, are able to properly interpret. Accessibility does not stop at whether or not a person can see or not see the page, it also continues into other issues such as flickering screens. There are users out there who have seizures triggered by flickering images and so accessibility compliant websites must not use flickering images of certain frequencies.
A vast majority of accessibility compliance issues require the user to be aware of the accessibility requirements when writing content. This, however, does not mean all of the work falls solely onto the content editors and content reviewers. The McNeese website contains tools that help detect these problems and help prevent inaccessible content from being published to the web (see: Using & Managing Workflow documentation for details on publishing content). All content should have an accessibility tab on the far right side of the tab menu. This is displayed only to users who are logged into the system. Navigating to this tab will bring the user to an accessibility information page where accessibility problems have been detected.
- Major Problems
- Minor Problems
Major problems represent critical failures in accessibility compliance. These problems often refer to obvious misuses or abuses of the web language. Content that contains major accessibility issues will be blocked from being published.
Minor problems represent simple failures in accessibility compliance. These problems need to be resolved, but they are not critical. Content that contains minor accessibility issues will not be blocked from being published, but their problems should still be resolved. These problems will eventually be reviewed and must eventually be addressed.
Suggestions represent possible failures in accessibility compliance. These problems tend to be so context-specific or context-sensitive that there is no good way to validate whether or not the content editor is violating an accessibility issue. The presence of suggestions do not mean that there is any accessibility violation, but instead mean that there might be an accessibility violation. All content editors should be aware of and understand these problems. Should any suggestion be reported, the content editor should review whether or not what they are violating an accessibility standard.
Accessibility for You
In the original meaning of the word, accessibility can be used to further help improve your experience when browsing the web whether or not you have disabilities. Because the web is designed such that the client's webbrowser renders the content, most of the accessibility problems and solutions can be found on the clients own system. Most people do not realize that they have such tools already available and so this section will present to you a small number of tips that can be useful for making content more accessibile for you.
Zooming In and Out
If the text or images on your browser are too small or too big for you to read, then try zooming in or out! There are two common ways to zoom in or out. The first is to just use the keyboard. The key combinations are:
Ctrl+- or Command+-This combination is the pushing the control key and the minus key. This control-minus combination will cause the page to zoom out, making the page smaller. On systems where the control-minus combination does not work, try the command-minus combination, where command is the command key.
Ctrl++ or Command++This combination is the pushing the control key and the plus key (which may require pushing the shift key as well). This control-plus combination will cause the page to zoom in, making the page larger. On systems where the control-plus combination does not work, try the command-plus combination, where command is the command key.
Ctrl+0 or Command+0This combination is the pushing the control key and the zero key. This control-zero combination will cause the page to reset to its original size before any zoom in or zoom out was performed. On systems where the control-zero combination does not work, try the command-zero combination, where command is the command key.
Ctrl+Scroll Forward or Command+Scroll ForwardThis combination is the pushing the control key and scroll button on the mouse pushing forward. This control-scroll-forward combination will cause the page to zoom in, making the page larger. On systems where the control-scroll-forward combination does not work, try the command-scroll-forward combination, where command is the command key. If your mouse does not have a scroll button, then you cannot do this and probably should get a more useful mouse.
Ctrl+Scroll Backward or Command+Scroll BackwardThis combination is the pushing the control key and scroll button on the mouse pulling backward. This control-scroll-backward combination will cause the page to zoom out, making the page smaller. On systems where the control-scroll-backward combination does not work, try the command-scroll-backward combination, where command is the command key. If your mouse does not have a scroll button, then you cannot do this and probably should get a more useful mouse.
There are two different interpretations of zooming used by webbrowsers. Older webbrowsers support the first interpretation, which is just zooming text in and out. This first interpretation does not work well at all, but at least the text can be zoomed. Newer webbrowsers provide a more intelligent zooming that zooms the entire page in or out. If you are stuck with the first interpretation, then you should find better software because your webbrowsers does not do what you need it to do.
- The term accessibility refers to making something available to users with disabilities. In the context of websites, this means making web content available to users with disabilities.
- Screen Readers
- A screen-reader is a tool used to convert a visual document into audio. These tools are useful for users who are unsighted, poorly-sighted, or cannot read.