What is accessible web content and why is it important?
Accessible design is good design
Web content designed with accessibility in mind is built upon the foundational principle that the site should be easy to navigate, and that content should be easy to understand because it has a strong sense of context. These are principles that are important to all visitors to our website, not just those with disabilities.
MJC has a responsibility to serve all of our community. Creating accessible content for the web ensures that our students who are deaf, blind and vision impaired or have learning, cognitive or motor disabilities have the same access to services and instruction as the rest of our students.
Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act establishes guidelines that all Information and communications technology must be accessible to all people with disabilities and must be compatible with assistive technologies that make it easier to use those technologies. Adhering to the accessibility guidelines below meets our legal obligation by making sure that your page is compatible with those technologies.
How do I create an accessible page?
Styles and color
Certain vision impairments, learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities make some fonts, font sizes, and font colors significantly easier to read than others. MJC's website is equipped with stylesheets that make it very easy to ensure that your text is styled in an accessible way. All you have to do is leave it alone. If you don't change the font, style or color, your text will be appropriately styled for accessibility.
It's important to contain the information within your page in a logical structure of headings. Heading 1 and Heading 2 are built into the structure of the MJC template. They contain the top-level information about the page. Use headings 3, 4, 5 and 6 in a nested, hierarchical order to organize your information. For example, several Heading 5 tags can appear under a Heading 4, but a Heading 5 will never appear immediately under a Heading 3.
Blind and vision-impaired students may use screen readers to read them the contents of websites. In other cases, they may use technologies that increase the font size or contrast of web content. Those visitors may not have access to information contained within images. Special care must be used when placing images on a page to ensure that any information conveyed by those images is available to all site visitors.
- Ideally, images which appear on the website will only be photos. Please consult your webmaster or public relations department before placing any image other than a photo on your page.
- Images containing text may only be used when that text is absolutely necessary and the information cannot be conveyed in any other way. For example, an image of a logo which contains text is acceptable, because the color, style and placement of the text are integral to the logo being understood.
- All images must have an image description which describes the content of the image and conveys all of the information of contained within the image to the site visitor. If the image contains structured data of any kind such as headings, lists, dates, times, locations or tabular data, this information cannot be properly structured within an image description tag. Instead of using the image, please place the text content on the page.
- Hyperlinks should always include the title or a description of the target within the
- Resources for the California Dream Act application from the California Student Aid
This is an accessible hyperlink.
- Resources for the California Dream Act application from the California Student Aid Commission
- A hyperlink should never include the URL of the hyperlink target or the words "click
This is not an accessible hyperlink.
- [CLICK HERE] for information about the California Dream Act application.
This is not an accessible hyperlink.
All video that appears on the MJC website must be closed-captioned for the hearing impaired. Only use properly closed-captioned videos on the website. Using the YouTube Embed Component available to you in MJC's OUCampus CMS will ensure that the video is embedded with captions properly enabled.
Below is an example of a properly closed captioned video.
Lists are a good way to convey several short pieces of information, but creating lists manually by inserting a bullet character or copying and pasting from another program will not produce accessible lists. Using the Bullet List and Numbered List tools within OUCampus will ensure that site visitors who rely on a screen reader and keyboard navigation can explore your list content in a way that's easy to use and easy to understand.
Creating completely accessible tables is technically complex. Before creating a table, consider if you could deliver the information using a combination of nested headings and lists. Avoid using tables unless it is the only possible way to convey the information.
If you must use a table on your page, please contact your web developer for assistance with creating accessible tables.
Placing content on a web page is generally preferable to linking to a PDF or Microsoft Office document because it's the easiest way to ensure that your content is accessible to all users. If you must produce other document formats for public consumption, please familiarize yourself with how to make those documents accessible.
- For PDFs: Adobe's guide to creating and verifying PDF accessibility.
- For Word: Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities.
- For Excel: Make your Excel documents accessible to people with disabilities.
- For Powerpoint: Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities.