Accessibility

Web accessibility provides equal access to information and functionality for all web users, regardless of their settings, preferences and abilities. Many web users have unique requirements when it comes to navigating a website. Whether it's a preferred internet browser or a software program to accommodate a disability, our visitors should be able to navigate our website in the way that best suits them.

The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are the benchmark for our website. We aim to achieve AA compliance and are working progressively to meet these requirements. We require content coordinators and publishers to work toward the same goal.

Accessibility principles

Web publisher requirements

Use the FedUni standard templates and CSS

The templates have been tested for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. Use the WYSIWYG editor to set the style, size and colour of content. Do not add HTML tags to override font styles and colours.

Provide accurate metadata

Metadata provides information about the page. Accurate metadata improves search functionality and makes web content easier to find.

Some metadata is CMS-generated (eg. creation date/ creator name). However, content publishers must provide descriptive page names, and accurate keywords and descriptions, and update these fields as part of content maintenance.

Use appropriate alternative text ('alt text')

If someone cannot see an image and is using a screen reader to navigate the page, the 'alt text' replaces the image. 'Alt text' needs to accurately reflect the function and purpose of the image. It is not helpful to simply describe it. Decorative images do not require 'alt text'.

Correct: 'Students can use the IT facilities provided in our new Library information commons areas for group and individual work'
Incorrect: 'Info commons' or 'Image 4-students in library'

If the image is also a link, make that clear in the 'alt text':

Correct: 'Go to the Mt Helen Campus maps webpage'
Incorrect: 'image link-mt helen' or 'mth front entrance'

If the image contains text, this text should form the alternative text:

Correct: 'Our Open Day opens doors. Sunday 29th August, 10am-3pm. View more information.'
Incorrect: 'open day promo' or 'Open Day image link'

Describe images that contain complex information in the text of the page and provide brief 'alt text'.

Links should clearly identify their destination

Descriptive link text allows a link to have meaning independent of the non-linked text that may surround it.

Consider using an entire sentence/ phrase as link text.

eg. Read our FedUni news item. or Visit the Australian Government website.

Consider rewriting a sentence to make link text meaningful.

Correct: Find out more about our research project
Incorrect: 'For more information, click here.'

Do not use 'click here', 'here' or 'more' as link text.

Do not use URLs as link text (e.g. http://policy.federation.edu.au/information_technology/it/ch03.php)

Avoid opening new windows but if you do provide a warning in the link.

Include file type and size within the link text

When linking to a document including this information will let the user know, before clicking, that they are downloading a document. They can then decide whether they want to do so. Including the file information in the link also improves the ability of those using screen readers to make the same informed decision as others about what they download.

Correct: "Download a cover sheet (pdf, 23kb)"
Incorrect: "Download a cover sheet (pdf, 23kb)"

Use heading structure appropriately

Headings provide structure to a web page. So, 'heading 2' indicates a subsection of 'heading 1', 'heading 4' indicates a subsection of 'heading 3' and so on.

They should not be used for font or presentation effects. Misusing heading styles - eg. to make a heading appear a certain size - makes it difficult for users with special software to understand how the page is organised and to navigate it.

Our WYSIWYG editor allows coordinators and publishers to select heading styles from 1 - 4.

Because the title of your page will always be heading 1, all subsequent sub-headings should follow accordingly from there. That is,

Page title (heading 1) [specified by CMS template]

Sub title (heading 2) [specified by content publisher]

...and so on down the page. Heading styles should only be applied to text that is a heading.

Tables

Tables contain row and/or column headings and are used to present tabular data in an organised way. They should not be used for alignment purposes or visual presentation.

Merged cells or nested tables can make a table difficult to navigate for someone using a screen reader so their use should be avoided.

Content can be navigated without a mouse

Users must be able to navigate the website and pages using the 'Tab' and 'Enter' keys on the computer keyboard. The pages must have a logical tab and reading order.

Make multimedia accessible

Provide transcripts and captions for all video and audio files.
Include player controls for slideshows, video and audio to enable pausing or stopping.