Skip to main content

9.5.3 Procedures for Meeting Website Accessibility Requirements

I. Introduction

Illinois State University's mission is to provide all users, including those with disabilities, a functional, accessible, interactive Web experience. The Federal government has issued Website accessibility requirements (SEC. 508, Standard 1194.22) in order to give those with disabilities equal access to the public Web presence.

II. Web Accessibility Statement

All University Websites should include a link to Illinois State’s Web Accessibility Statements on the site’s home page.

Important Numbers:

If staff or faculty members need help following any of the instructions in this checklist or understanding the Section 508 requirements, contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at (309) 438-5853 (Voice) or (309) 438-8620 (TTY/TDD) and/or the Office of Academic Technologies at (309) 438-7018.

If staff or faculty members have questions about what types of technology must be made accessible to disabled individuals and the resources that can help, contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at (309) 438-5853 (Voice) or (309) 438-8620 (TTY/TDD).

If staff or faculty members have Web accessibility policy questions, contact the ADA/504 Coordinator in the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action at (309) 438-3383 (Voice).

III. Section 508 U.S. Rehabilitation Act, Standard §1194.22, Web Accessibility

  1. A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via ALT attributes or in element content).
    1. Every image (including bullets, graphical buttons, spacers, gifs, jpgs, etc.), Java applet, Flash file, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an ALTdescription.
    2. Complex graphics (graphs, charts, etc.) are accompanied by detailed text descriptions on the Web page itself.
    3. The ALT descriptions succinctly describe the purpose of the objects, without being too verbose (for simple objects) or too vague (for complex objects).
    4. For video content, provide hyperlinks to a descriptive text HTML page and an audio description of the important information.
    5. ALTdescriptions for images used as links are descriptive of the link destination.
    6. Decorative graphics with no other function never have missing ALTdescriptions, but instead have generic ALT descriptions (e.g., generic graphic).
  2. Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
    1. If color is used to convey important information, an alternative indicator is also used, such as an asterisk (*) or other symbol.
    2. When using color, contrast is good.
  3. Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
    1. Style sheets may be used for color, indentation, and other presentation effects, but the Web pages must still be understandable (even if less visually appealing) when the style sheet is turned off.
  4. Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
    1. Separate text links are provided outside of the server-side image map that access the same content that the image map hot spots access.
  5. Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps, except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
    1. Standard HTML client-side image maps are used and appropriate ALTdescriptions are provided for the image, as well as for the hot spots.
    2. To assist users who have difficulty with fine motor movements, design image maps that do not require extremely precise mouse positioning.
  6. Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
    1. Column and row headers are appropriately identified in data tables (using the TH tag).
    2. Tables used strictly for layout purposes do not have header rows or columns.
  7. Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.
    1. Table cells are associated with the appropriate headers.
  8. Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
    1. Each frame is given a title that helps the user understand the frame’s purpose.
  9. Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
    1. No elements on the page flicker at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second, thus reducing the risk of optically-induced seizures.
  10. A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a Website comply with the provisions of this Standard, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
    1. A text-only version is created only when there is no other way to make the content accessible, or when it offers significant advantages over the “main” version for certain disability types.
    2. The text-only version is up-to-date with the “main” version. The text-only version provides the functionality equivalent to that of the “main” version.
    3. An alternative is provided for components (e.g., plug-ins, scripts, etc.) that are not directly accessible (see l & m below).
  11. When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
    1. Information within the scripts is text-based, or a text alternative is provided within the script itself, in accordance with (a) of these standards.
    2. All scripts (e.g., Javascript pop-up menus, scripts in Flash content, etc.) are either directly accessible to assistive technologies or an alternative method of accessing equivalent functionality is provided.
  12. When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.
    1. All form controls have text labels adjacent to them. Form elements also have labels associated with them in the markup.
    2. The dynamic HTML scripting of the form does not interfere with assistive technologies.
  13. A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
    1. A link is provided to skip over lists of navigational menus or other lengthy lists of links.

IV. Most Complex Section 508 Requirements

These instructions may require assistance to complete. If you need help with these requirements, please contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at (309) 438-5853 (Voice) or (309) 438-8620 (TTY/TDD) and/or the Campus Technology Support Group at (309) 438-7018.

For University Websites whose primary audience is a class of on-campus students, instructors should meet these last three (3) requirements on an as needed basis, yet still in a timely manner so the student will not have to wait for the material.

  1. Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
    1. Multimedia files have synchronized captions.
  2. When a Web page requires that an applet, plug-in, or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with Standard 1194.21 (a) through (l)
    1. A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded.
    2. All Java applets, scripts, and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files, PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies (must be able to access via a keyboard only), or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided.
  3. When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.
    1. The user has control over the timing of content changes.

Last Review: January 2011