OIT Web Accessibility

We did it. 100% of the legacy Web pages under the supervision of Purdue University Calumet’s Department of University Relations are in compliance with our Web Accessibility Policy. This is based on reviews done using the evaluation software tool Compliance Sheriff by HiSoftware.

Compliance Sheriff™ is software that scans content online and it can only tell us so much. It recognizes its limitations by flagging some issues as requiring visual inspection or a judgment call by a person. Because of that, the tool rarely reports a site at 100%. It’s up to us to verify the extra percent or so. And we have done that with those sites.

What We Look For

Take the Office of Instructional Technology Web site, for example. The staff has been trained to make sure that their Web pages are accessible. They make sure that all of the images have text alternatives so if someone can’t see the graphic, he or she won’t miss out on any information. They make sure that all of the pages have structure in the form of headings, like headlines and sub-heads in a newspaper article. They check to see that colors used on a page have enough contrast so that text is not hard to see. They make sure that no one is told to “click here” without knowing where “here” will take them.

Accessibility is Not Hard

Making sure digital content is accessible means more than making sure it’s available and that it can be accessed online. It’s making sure that we eliminate or at least minimize the barriers between a person and the information that we want him or her to have. If we leave barriers that get in the way of some people, but not others, that puts us in danger of violating their civil rights. At the very least, it makes them feel less welcome at our University.

Source: Pamela Riesmeyer, Web Accessibility Coordinator