Partner of the Week: Student Activities

Student Activities Web page before changes were made

Student Activities Before

Student Activities is our Web Accessibility Partner of the Week, providing us with some clear evidence that what we are doing makes an immediate impact.

Special Projects Administrator Leticia Toma, Operations Assistant Carol Wolfe and graduate assistant Na-Jee Harris were shown the issues that cropped up in their Compliance Sheriff scan, and they responded immediately, fixing the key issues. When we ran another scan the  next day, the Web site compliance level had increased dramatically. Plus, there are indications that because the site is now more accessible, more students are taking advantage of the opportunity to attend the events!

Main Problem: Graphic Text

Student Activities provides a wealth of information about upcoming events. The department’s Web site is alive with colorful images, many of which were graphics listing dates, times, registration information, etc. for those events. The problem they faced was one we’ve mentioned before – how to convey all of the information to visitors who can’t see those images.

The solution is one we’ve talked about before: turn all of the information from the graphic into text, making it a page or a post and then add an image or two from the graphic. If the image is decorative, leave the alternate text blank since you already have provided the important details in the article.

“It’s Not As Hard As We Thought”

Student Activities Web page after changes

Student Activities after

Leticia echoes what many site owners and editors have said after we have met with them. They begin to realize that making a site accessible does not require a huge change in the way they do things, just a few adjustments, result in great benefits.

We understand that hearing that “you need to make your site accessible” can make a site owner or editor nervous, especially when he or she is not clear on just what’s involved. Attending our “Web Accessibility Awareness” sessions will help, and so will the resources on this site. It boils down to:

  • Adding meaningful alternate text to images;
  • Using headings and lists instead of bold paragraphs;
  • Adding extra information to tables;
  • Thinking of links as signposts, telling a visitor where they are about to go.
  • Making sure your downloadable documents are accessible or providing the information in an equivalent form, such as a Web page

But nothing seems to top the meetings with Web site editors for each individual unit. The conversation is custom-tailored to their needs; they can get their specific problems addressed and questions answered. And we continue to schedule those meetings. We’re going down the list, but if we haven’t called you yet and you’d like to get your site evaluation sooner, contact us and we’ll set something up.

Next Friday, we’ll recognize another Web Accessibility Partner of the Week and provide you with another tip as we all work together to make the Purdue Calumet Web site accessible to everyone!