Accessibility Standards

In its broadest definition, “Web accessibility” is an approach to Web design that aims to include the widest number of people and user agents as possible. Commonly, when people speak of Web accessibility they are referring to access for disabled user groups.

Policy and legislation

The university has a legal obligation under the state of Arkansas Act 1227 of 1999 to develop and maintain accessible Web pages. Our Web sites are also required to comply with the accessibility standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Some Web sites owned by groups that receive federal funding must also abide by Section 508 laws.

Three priority levels for accessibility on the Web

WCAG2.0 contains a number of checkpoints. All Web sites must meet all of the priority 1 checkpoints. In addition, all priority 2 checkpoints should also be met. These checkpoints are grouped into the following priority levels:

  • Priority 1 checkpoints are “must dos.” If these requirements are not met, Web sites will present significant barriers to some users.
  • Priority 2 checkpoints are “should dos.” If these requirements are met, barriers to access will be significantly reduced.
  • Priority 3 checkpoints are “may dos.” Meeting these checkpoints will further enhance accessibility.

WAVE Toolbar for Chrome

The WAVE Toolbar provides button options and a menu that will modify the current web page to reveal the underlying accessibility information. It provides an easy-to-use, yet powerful mechanism for evaluating the accessibility and usability of web content for people with disabilities.

The currently rendered document is evaluated directly within Chrome. This allows accessibility evaluation of CSS, scripted, AJAX, DHTML, dynamically generated, and secure web content.


Accessibility Articles


Thank You For Attending the 2017 WebFirst Conference

The Fifth Annual WebFirst Conference on Friday, July 14 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center was a hit with additional breakout sessions, a panel discussion and three afternoon workshops. This year’s conference was opened to attendees inside and outside the campus including the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and surrounding colleges and universities.

Choosing the Best Hyperlink Text

A common mistake content contributors make is using bad link text. Too often we use, “click here” or “read more” without telling readers where they are actually going which is not only a user experience issue but an accessibility issue as well. We have pulled together some tips on how to get the best link text on all of your pages for all users.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends! I wanted to take a moment and thank this community for a fantastic 2016. With your help we have achieved great things on our university’s web presence. I very much appreciate the diligence and attention to detail that you all provide in addition to the feedback and collaboration that makes us all stronger as a team. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Making Tables Accessible in OU Campus

Tables play a unique role on a webpage. Often they are misused as a layout tool for content when they should be strictly used to display tabular data.

Like images, we need to make sure tables on our web pages are accessible so screen readers present the information with the necessary details and information. We incorporate guidelines from WCAG when building our tables to make sure they are as accessible as possible.

YouTube Video Closed Captions

The recent push in the need for web accessibility could become a sizable project for campus departments and offices. One area that tends to get overlooked is video accessibility. Adding closed captions to videos is an added step that many may not know how to accomplish. A great solution for this is YouTube.

Accessibility Level of Conformance

Siteimprove provides very detailed accessibility information about pages that are accessible and pages that need attention. One of the features that Siteimprove provides us with is the Level of Conformance. WCAG 2.0 categorizes the Level of Conformance into three...

Making PDFs Accessible

We all have PDFs on our websites to provide information, to collect information or as archived documents. It is estimated that one in five people claim at least one form of disability. As an institution of higher education, it is highly important to ensure that not only our sites are accessible but that our PDFs are accessible as well. Here are some frequently asked questions about PDF accessibility to help you in making your PDFs accessible.

NVDA Free Screen Reader

With more than 285 million blind and vision impaired people in the world, the importance of accessibility will continue to grow. The task lies on us to work toward making all of our web pages and PDFs as accessible as possible so that screen readers can translate that message to its vision impaired audience. The University of Arkansas’ Center for Educational Access recommends using a screen reader called NVDA. Although many screen readers are quite expensive, NVDA provides a screen reader that is not only free but quite robust.

Tools To Improve Web Accessibility

Siteimprove The University of Arkansas provides this service to help departments improve web accessibility for their website. Siteimprove views your entire site and provides information to pages that has accessibility errors, warnings, and pages that are in good...