According to the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) more than 3% of Australians are blind, vision-impaired or have another form of print disability. The following guidelines have been provided to help you make your uos websites accessible to students with print disabilities.
The default uos website template meets the accessibility requirements of the World Wide Web Consortium Priority 1 guidelines (WAI WCAG 1.0 Level A). The general guidelines for accessible design are the same as the guidelines for accessible design of any website.
Users with a print disability will usually use some form of assistive software or technology to magnify a part of the screen, or they may use a screen reader such as JAWS. Following simple accessible design guidelines will improve the user experience of your website. Examples of how a user experiences a website using assistive technology such as a screen reader can be found online at: www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/video/intro.asp
All images should have an alt tag. The screen reader will read the alt tag as a description of the image for people with vision impairment. The text editor in the University LMS allows you to add alt text when adding images to a page.
Hyperlinks should be clearly identified. Try to avoid placing links in the middle of sentences unless they are clearly described in the text. Ensure that there are line spaces between lists of links. Do not end links with a full stop.
Use of colours
Be aware that using colours to convey information may be inaccessible to colour blind students.
Screen readers read tables cell by cell and usually from left to right, then row by row. If the table is large and complex, provide a summary or description of the table layout and content. Carefully identify row and column headers so that the user listening to the screen reader knows what the information refers to. Always create tables with relative (percentage) not absolute (pixel) measurements. This will ensure they fit on the screen, which is useful for users using screen magnification software.
Graphs and Charts
Graphs and charts are usually inaccessible to screen readers, so a text summary of the information contained in the item should be included. The alt tag could be used in this instance to describe the graph or chart.
If you are creating your own PDF files then you should ensure that you have created an accessible PDF file. Note: readings from journals and books should be linked to content provided by the library. Your Faculty Librarian can provide information on this.
The following websites have further information on issues related to accessibility and disability services.