Main content for "Standards and Guidelines"

The Importance of Standards

Standards and guidelines explain the what, why, and how of making web content accessible. Web content comprised of text, images, sound, video, and other media includes markup languages or code to define structure, presentation, and alternatives for people with disabilities. Accessibility standards and guidelines are documented as follows:

  • Access Issue – Any limitation on users that prevent them from using the web in equally accessible fashion.
  • Web Design Goal – The essential understanding for a web developer to develop an accessible website.
  • WCAG 2.0 guideline reference(s) when applicable
  • Section 508 standard reference(s) when applicable

Standards, Guidelines, and Access Performance Criteria

These include:

  1. Standards and Guidelines – the procedures that will implement university access policies for web accessibility. These procedures require the use of development and maintenance tools and techniques that validate markup language (coding) and evaluate website accessibility throughout the lifetime of the website or web-based application.
  2. Access Performance Criteria – a concise list of functional goals that must be achieved for a website or web-based application to be considered accessible.

Individuals with disabilities use a variety of abilities, access techniques, and assistive technologies to utilize web-based information. From a practical standpoint, accessible websites must therefore be compliant with accessibility standards and guidelines, as well as being compatible with adaptive or assistive technologies. From this perspective, the following functional performance criteria can be used to judge whether accessibility is effectively achieved.

All information and functionality presented in a website or web-based applications shall be available in a manner that is:

  • Compliant with university supported browsers
  • Completely operable with system font sizes and colors set by the user
  • Completely operable using a keyboard only
  • Completely operable using leading screen magnification software
  • Completely operable using leading screen or synthesized speech reading software
  • Completely operable using leading speech recognition software
  • Completely understandable without sound
  • Completely understandable without color
  • Clearly and consistently navigable
  • Unlikely to trigger photosensitive seizures