Web Accessibility Update
New Semester, New Documents, New Procedures
By PAM RIESMEYER
The start of a semester always means changes for our Web sites.
And that makes this a great time for a reminder:
Anything new that’s published to a Web site – any new PDF, any new Word document, anything offered as a download, any new Web page, any changed Web page – must be accessible before it goes live. This is one of the main rules of our Web Accessibility Policy adopted in March of 2010.
We realize that this is a challenge, especially when it comes to PDFs or those wonderful graphic posters and post cards produced by Creative Services.
But if we don’t make sure that those documents can be read by assistive technology, and if we don’t provide the information in the graphic in an accessible form, we’re preventing some visitors from ever receiving that vital information that we want them to have.
What to do?
- Best Option: Create a Web page and put the information on that instead of in a PDF or graphic. Web pages are much more accessible than PDFs and images from the start. Then you can post the PDF or the graphic as a supplemental download.
- Second Best Option: Create an accessible source document and then create the PDF. You’ll still need to check to make sure the document can be read by a screen reader, but you will be ahead of the game.
- Third Option: Create a PDF and then repair it using Acrobat Pro. This option is not a lot of fun and does take special software and some additional training.
Where University Relations comes in:
- Training and Workshops: Coming this fall, we’ll resume training, not only in WordPress, but also in creating accessible documents. Look for an announcement in the next few weeks.
- Guides and Tutorials: We have many listed on our Web site, specifically for creating accessible documents in Office and in Acrobat Pro. (You will need Acrobat Pro to repair older PDFs.)
Support: We’re here to answer your questions, meet with you individually and guide you through the process of making your information available to everyone. Just give us a call at extension 2731.