Digital Accessibility

This page highlights common questions about web accessibility. The University also has an Assistive Technology Center with valuable resources. The University's Statement on Accessibility and a summary of accessibility resources is available on the UMass Amherst Accessibility website.

Tables

Only use tables for columns or rows of data and not for layout purposes. Remember screen readers will read the HTML code that makes up the table. One of the best resources on tables and accessibility is from WebAim: Creating Accessible Tables.

Is your PDF an Image of Text? Convert it.

Make sure your PDF is not an image of text. Not sure how to tell? Do this:

How to Convert an Image of Text into Text

Lucky for us, you may use a free tool to convert it.

  1. Use this web based Document Conversion tool: www.robobraille.org/web3/umassamherst.
  2. Upload your fiile.
  3. Select document conversion.
  4. The converted document is returned via e-mail as an attachment.
  5. You will need to edit the file before it is saved to an accessible PDF.

Video Captions

Your video must have accurate captions. Video captioning is one of the University requirements for accessibility, and it it the right thing to do.

One of the most interesting informative sites I've visited is The Complete Guide to Captioned Videos written by Meryl Evans who described herself as "profoundly deaf." The other resource is Closed Captioning from the UMass Brand Guide on Video Recording Tips.

Charts and Accessibility

Learn how to make your charts and graphs accessible. Don't rely on color alone to convey your message. Get help at Charts and Accessibility from Penn State University. 

As an example, visit the Budget website's planning calendar. Notice that the sidebar tells the visitor that "The timeline is shown in the image and also detailed below the image." A detailed description of the timeline is below the image, because we cannot rely on color to convey information. The text makes it accessible to everyone. 

Cheatsheets

Everyone loves cheatsheets. Use NCDA's (National Center for Disability and Access to Education) cheatsheets.

Read the Guidelines

Training

Browse through the resources above, and you will learn. You may also use LinkedIn Learning - available for free to University employees.

Contact Me

You may contact me, Joanne Patalano, Web Developer, AFIT, at patalano@umass.edu.

This page last updated: 7/29/2021