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Accessibility Statement

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." — Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

This is the official Web accessibility statement for the UMass Amherst Offices of Institutional Research and Academic Planning and Assessment.

Page Contents

Guidelines

  1. Most pages on this site have passed the Cynthia Says web page accessibility test. This is always a judgement call; many accessibility features can be measured, but many can not. We have reviewed all the guidelines and believe that all these pages are in compliance.
  2. Most pages on this site are WCAG AAA approved, complying wih all priority 1, 2, and 3 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Again, this is a judgement call; many guidelines are intentionally vague and can not be tested automatically. We have reviewed all the guidelines and believe that all these pages are in compliance.
  3. Most pages on this site are Section 508 approved, complying with all of the U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines. Again, this is a judgement call. We have reviewed all the guidelines and believe that all these pages are in compliance.
  4. Most pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict. This is not a judgement call; a program can determine with 100% accuracy whether a page is valid XHTML. For example, check the home page for XHTML validity.
  5. Most pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H2 tags are used for main titles, H3 tags for subtitles. For example, on this page, JAWS users can skip to the next section within the accessibility statement by pressing ALT+INSERT+3.

Access keys

Most browsers support jumping to specific links by typing keys defined on the web site.

Windows users:

Macintosh users: press Control + an access key.

All pages on this site define the following access keys:

Visual design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets () to control the visual presentation.
  2. This site uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified "text size" option in visual browsers.
  3. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable, though may affect the functionality of the site.

Links and Images

  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article).
  2. Links are written to make sense out of context.
  3. All content images used in this site include descriptive ALT attributes. Purely decorative graphics include null ALT attributes.

Accessibility References

  1. W3 Auxiliary Benefits of Accessible Web Design.
  2. W3 accessibility guidelines, which explains the reasons behind each guideline.
  3. W3 accessibility techniques, which explains how to implement each guideline.
  4. W3 accessibility checklist, a busy developer's guide to accessibility.
  5. U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.

Accessibility Software

  1. JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
  2. Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
  3. Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  4. Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  5. Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.

Accessibility services

  1. WebXACT (formerly Bobby), a free service to analyze web pages for compliance to accessibility guidelines. A full-featured commercial version is also available.
  2. HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
  3. Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.

Related resources

  1. WebAIM, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving accessibility to online learning materials.
  2. Designing More Usable Web Sites, a large list of additional resources.
 

OIR/OAPA