Partner of the Week: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering Home Page screen shotRecognition for this Week’s Web Accessibility Partner is long overdue. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science faced a serious challenge. Department Head, Dr. Nasser Houshangi and his staff moved the entire site to our content management system.

That means that EVERYTHING needed to meet our compliance guidelines before it went live, according to our Web Accessibility Policy.

Fantastic Cooperation

We worked with Department Secretary Janice Novosel and her assistants to bring all of their pages and documents over from the previous location. This meant making sure that Web accessibility standards were followed:

  • All images have appropriate alternate text
  • All data tables have header cells, captions and summaries
  • No layout tables have header cells, captions or summaries
  • The text of all of the links makes sense out of context and the raw URL is not used since those are not easily understandable to screen reader users
  • Content is organized and structured using headings and lists
  • Information contained in downloadable documents (like PDFs) was accessible – either has been turned into a Web page or the document is properly tagged.
  • Links to downloadable documents warn a visitor that they will be opening a document, not another Web page
  • Visitors also are given advance notice when links will open a new window
  • Links are provided to free document viewers (Adobe Reader, Word Viewer, etc.)

The updated site went live just before the start of Fall semester, and since that time, Janice and her support staff have kept accessibility in mind with any changes or updates they have made.

Staying Accessible – Maintenance

Maintaining an accessible site can be one of the hardest hurdles. Even though these principles are easy to implement, they may not be uppermost in your mind, when updating a Web site is not your only job. This is true when it comes to learning any new skill or changing any behavior. And we applaud those, like the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for working hard to incorporate these principles and to maintain their standard of excellence.

Stop By Next Week

Next Friday, we’ll recognize another Web Accessibility Partner of the Week. And Monday, we will provide you with another Tip of the Week, this time illustrating a problem that ECE and other departments and schools face.. how to handle Plans of Study or Bingo Sheets!

We continue to meet with Web site editors for each individual unit. The conversation is custom-tailored to your needs; you will have your specific problems addressed and your questions answered. 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!