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University Web Services (UWS)

University Web Services, University of Colorado Denver

 

 
 
 

Web Coding Procedures


Introduction

By designing Web pages that follow a Web Accessibility Policy, you will produce online information that is accessible to all users. The Web Accessibility Policy would be based on recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (version 2 pending) and adhere to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. By meeting all of the minimum standards listed below, your site will likely comply with Section 508 guidelines.
 

Minimum standards

Certain practices are so fundamental that the Committee considers them necessary for all University web sites. Failure to meet these minimum standards would result in web pages that are in violation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
 

Core recommendations

These are the Committee's basic recommendations and best practices intended for nearly all University web sites. Following these recommendations will vastly improve accessibility formost web sites and the University's overall web presence.
 
Create Web pages that are clear and simple, so they are more easily understood.

Minimum Standards

  • Consistent page layout, recognizable graphics and easy-to- understand language benefit all users. Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content and audience.
  • Clearly identify places where text or text equivalents change to a different language to facilitate pronunciation or interpretation of foreign text. Speech synthesizers and Braille devices can automatically switch to the new language if appropriate HTML markup is used.

Core Recommendations

  • Expand abbreviations and acronyms the first time they occur to assist with interpretation.
Use HTML to encode meaning rather than appearance (semantic Markup)

Minimum Standards

  • Use HTML tags for the purpose they were created. For example, for headers use header tags <H1><H2> etc., rather than font size changes, to note sections and subsections of your page.
  • Documents must be readable without requiring associated style sheets. (See next standard for more information on using style sheets.)
  • Create an easily understandable title for the page using the title tag <TITLE>

Core Recommendations

  • None
Use style sheets where appropriate.

Minimum Standards

  • Use style sheets to control layout and presentation, but test the pages with various browsers to ensure that the content is accessible in browsers that don't support style sheets.

Core Recommendations

  • None
Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content, including images, graphics, animated graphics, image maps, video clips and audio clips or sounds, and to any other non-text elements, including applets, programmatic objects, and scripts..

Minimum Standards

  • All <img> tags must include an "alt" attribute.
  • Image maps must include "alt" attributes for all hyperlinks.
  • Structural and decorative images should be moved into CSS
  • Use client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
  • Provide a hyperlink to a text html page or provide an audio description of the important information of any video content.
  • For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g. a movie), provide a synchronized equivalent.
  • When a Web page uses 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.
  • 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 will function with assistive technology.

Core Recommendations

  • None
Site should not rely on javascript or images for navigation.

Minimum Standards

  • All <img> tags must include an "alt" attribute.
  • Use simple words to describe the function of structural elements rather than describing the appearance.

Core Recommendations

  • Use CSS-styled lists for navigation
Provide clear and consistent navigation and links

Minimum Standards

  • Use descriptive, concise hyperlink names.
  • Provide a way that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
  • Avoid client-side page redirects

Core Recommendations

  • Provide sufficient space between links to assist users who have difficulty with fine motor movements.
  • Avoid using hyper-linked images as the sole source for navigation.
  • Avoid using pop-up widows or opening a new browser window target=”_blank”
Use of color and images

Minimum Standards

  • Ensure that all information conveyed with color is understandable if viewed without color or if presented in an auditory manner.
  • Background images must be light enough that they don't hinder readability or lessen the contrast between the text and the background.

Core Recommendations

  • Provide sufficient contrast between background and text colors, so the text on the page is legible.
Proper use of Tables

Minimum Standards

  • Use the <TH> tag to identify a header or title for a column or row.
  • Use THEAD, TFOOT, and TBODY to group rows
  • Use COLS and COLGROUP to group columns
  • Use the "axis," "scope," and "headers" attributes, to describe more complex relationships among data.
  • Provide a summary via the "summary" attribute within the table tag.

Core Recommendations

  • -Use table only for presenting tabular data. Web page layout should be controlled with CSS.
Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling or automatically-updating objects are presented in an accessible format

Minimum Standards

  • None

Core Recommendations

  • None
Ensure that forms provide device-independent access

Minimum Standards

  • Forms 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.
  • Provide a phone number the Web visitor can call to verbally supply the requested information. An e-mail address should also be included.
  • Use the label tag for all form elements.

Core Recommendations

  • None
Valid Markup

Minimum Standards

Core Recommendations

  • Write valid markup – i.e. know the requirements of the DTD applied to the page and check that it validates for both HTML and CSS.
  • If JavaScript or other scripting languages are used, pages must be error free.

Extended Recommendations

  • None
Meta Data

Minimum Standards

  • A descriptive TITLE for each page that includes the following, in this order:
    1. Page title (as briefly as possible)
    2. Department, school, or college
    3. University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.

Core Recommendations

  • Description and keyword meta tags should be present. Be judicious (and non-repetitive) with keywords, including only those that actually describe page content.

Extended Recommendations

  • None
Technical Requirements

Minimum Standards

  • Design pages for an optimal viewing experience at 1024×768, with all primary content and navigation still visible at 800×600.

Core Recommendations

  • Write code to render pages as designed in the following browsers: IE6, IE7, Safari 2.0, and Firefox 1.5+
  • Write code to gracefully degrade (providing at least a functional experience) in the following browsers: Netscape 7+, Safari 1.0, Firefox 1.x, and IE 5.5 and IE 5.0 for Windows.

Extended Recommendations

  • Develop sites using templates to simplify maintenance of repetitive features (site menus, headers, footers, etc.).
Interdependence

Minimum Standards

  • Avoid opening a new window when linking to other university web sites, unless you have evidence to suggest it is in the user’s best interest.
  • Avoid interfering with appropriate browser functionality, such as coding that disables the “back” button.
  • Avoid using inappropriate search optimization methods to push your page to the top of search results.

Core Recommendations

  • None

Extended Recommendations

  • None
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