Partner of the Week: Office of Academic Affairs

Screen shot of the home page of the Academic Affairs Web site

Academic Affairs Web site

Our Web Accessibility Partners of the Week are the content editors for the Office of Academic Affairs Web site.  Under the direction of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ralph Rogers, Administrative Assistant Deborah McGlashan, and Content Editors Rebecca DeYoung and Cindy Huntoon are responsible, directly, for two sites: Academic Affairs and New Faculty Orientation.

What Makes Them Special

This team is proactive when it comes to accessibility. All three attended the Web Accessibility Awareness sessions as well as one-on-one training in accessible documents.

From the time they learned about the Web Accessibility Policy, they began assessing the content of their sites. They worked with University Relations to edit and reformat pages with accessibility in mind.

For example, subheadings have been added to a page that would otherwise be a blob of text, to make it easier for screen reader users to navigate.  And the pages from the New Faculty Orientation handbook have been published in a much more accessible format (HTML) rather than just offered as a PDF.

Screen shot of the home page for the New Faculty Orientation Web site

New Faculty Orientation Web site

Compliance Sheriff Scores

As a result of the work these editors are doing, scans of the Academic Affairs site by our automated evaluation software, Compliance Sheriff, show the site to be nearly 100% compliant with our Web Accessibility Policy Guidelines.  The New Faculty Orientation site is improving as well, as the team continues to work on the content to make it more accessible.

Dedication and Commitment

It’s this type of dedication and commitment from content editors like Deb, Rebecca and Cindy, that moves us closer to our goal of 100% compliance by March of 2014. And we are proud to recognize their accomplishments!

Just a Few Easy Things

As our content editors continue to discover, making a Web page compliant with our policy is easy. There are just a few Standards to remember :

  • 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.
  • And sometimes, putting aside “the way we have always done things”.

Next Friday, we’ll recognize another Web Accessibility Partner of the Week – an office, a department, a school or individuals who are working hard to make the Purdue Calumet Web site accessible to everyone!