Managing and Evaluating Web Accessibility for Your Website

The Office of Web Services at the University of Illinois Springfield follows web accessibility standards in the architecture of UIS websites, building the many aspects of web accessibility into our website themes. Throughout the year we check, fix and update accessibility features in our themes according to standards.

We do this because we believe it is the right thing to do, and because it follows good web design.

Although the Office of Web Services follows these standards, there are also guidelines outlined below that our website Editors and Authors must follow in order to keep web accessibility present in content creation. You will recollect these guidelines from the WordPress Training sessions you attended.

Web Accessibility Guidelines for UIS Websites

The following are some important guidelines to help UIS website Editors and Authors maintain accessibility for their web pages.

  1. Heading styles must be used in proper order
  2. Avoid entering paragraph returns while a heading style is applied
  3. Images must contain ALT text
  4. Avoid copying and pasting directly from Word
  5. Link text must be unique when pointing to different URLs
  6. When creating a table, define a header

1) Use heading styles in semantic structure

Heading styles are given to create sections and subsections on your web page.

  • These styles should not be used for design purposes, or to get a certain look for your text.
  • Headings can be used throughout your page and should be properly nested (e.g. Heading 2, then Heading 3, then Heading 4, etc.). The title of the page is by default Heading 1.

2) Avoid entering paragraph returns that have a heading style applied to them

  • When a heading style is selected, you may accidentally place paragraph returns on your page with the heading style still selected. This creates larger-than-normal returns, and also creates empty heading areas in the code of your web page. Be sure the “paragraph” style is selected when entering paragraph returns.

3) Every image must have an Alt attribute

  • All images should have an Alt attribute. For example, when you insert an image into your web page, remember to add a brief description of the image in the Alt Text field.

4) Avoid copying and pasting directly from Word. Use the Paste as Text button when you do.

  • Copying and pasting from Word brings code along with the text. This can cause numerous problems, including accessibility errors, W3C coding errors, formatting errors, and more.
  • When you must copy from Word, use the Paste as Text button. This will strip away any Microsoft Word code from your text.

5) Link text must be unique when pointing to different URLs

  • Link text in navigation should not be repeated on the web page unless it is pointing to the same URL.
  • Using the same text for links on the same page that point to different locations on the web will result in an accessibility error. Create your link text to be unique for different URLs.

Note: Look for links on your page that have the same text and visit those URLs to see if the links point to different locations, or you can place your cursor on the links to see where they point.

6) When creating a table, define a header.

Web Accessibility Evaluation

“The Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) 2.0 analyzes web pages for requirements defined by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria.”

“The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web standards. W3C’s mission is to lead the web to its full potential.”