Web Team Notice

Subject: Web Team Notice: Accessibility and Web Style Guide review of all Ohlone College websites
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 15:58:35 -0700
From: Cheryl Lambert

Web Accessibility Review

During the summer break, the Web Team will review each Ohlone College department, program, and faculty website on the ohlone.edu domain to ensure that web pages meet web accessibility standards. Ohlone is required by law to make all information delivered via our websites accessible to all.

One Commonly Missing Accessibility Feature

A commonly missing accessibility feature is not including a description for meaningful images.

The alt attribute of the <img> tag is used to provide a description of the image - example:

<img src="smiley.gif" width="100" height="100" alt="Smiley face." />

Screen reader software cannot see an image, but it can read the alt description to the user. Decorative images should have an empty alt attribute - example:

<img src="bar.gif" width="200" height="2" alt="" />

If an image tag does not have an alt attribute, the screen reader software tells the user "Graphic" or "Image" - not very informative or useful. See Creating Accessible Images: Creating Effective Alternative (alt) Text at http://www.webaim.org/techniques/images/alt_text.php for helpful information.

Web Style Guide Review

In addition, the review will include a check to ensure that the basic requirements of the Ohlone College Web Style Guide are being met. The Web Style Guide is available at: http://www.ohlone.edu/org/webstyleguide/ Basic requirements include:
  • use Ohlone College logo with link to http://www.ohlone.edu/ or banner image
  • use the standard footer
  • meet web accessibility standards
  • do not use HTML frames
  • mark the link text for a non-HTML file with the file type, such as (PDF) or (Word) or (Excel)
  • tell the user when a link opens a new window - i.e., use (new window) as part of the link text
  • when JavaScript is off, the page should still work properly

List of Revisions

The review will result in a list of revisions that must be made on those websites to meet web accessibility standards. The list will be emailed to the person(s) responsible for maintaining the website (see http://www.ohlone.edu/org/webteam/clientlist.html#notwebteam). Please contact me with any questions you may have about how to make the revisions.

Free Online Validation Tools

Two free online validation tools you should use to check your web pages before publishing them are:
  1. Cynthia Says at http://www.cynthiasays.com/ is a web accessibility validator for web pages.
  2. W3C Markup Validation Services at http://validator.w3.org/ will check for valid XHTML/HTML markup (code) on web pages.

Learn more about Web Accessibility…

Information about web accessibility is available on the Web Center and the Web Style Guide: http://www.ohlone.edu/org/webcenter/accessibility.html and http://www.ohlone.edu/org/webstyleguide/accessibility.html

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact me at webteam@ohlone.edu - thank you!