The Student Affairs Website has been recently redesigned to provide the division with a dynamic, event driven, mobile friendly way to communicate with each other and beyond to students, parents and the rest of the NU Community. Moreover, a cornerstone of the new design and the template created for the entire division is its enhanced accessibility features. We accomplished all of these goals in partnership with Student Affairs Marketing and AccessibleNU. Making websites accessible to individuals with disabilities, who sometimes access sites with the use of assistive technology, improves the functionality of websites on cell phones and other mobile devices. Moreover, accessible website design is a best practice with respect to diversity and inclusion. Finally, it also required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and a number of other federal laws in addition to state laws and mandates such as the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act.
Creating and maintaining an accessible web site requires collaboration between designers, developers, content providers, web architects and editors.
Accessible web content enables all users, regardless of any disability, to access web information. Providing usable, functional content leads to an inclusive environment for all audiences.
The following guidelines aim to assist web architects and editors to create and maintain accessible web content. They were created in conjunction with AccessibleNU.
Assistive Technology Users
Some individuals with disabilities (and even some without) access web sites using assistive technologies. When web sites contain accessible content, individuals using assistive technologies can have equal access to the information.
Examples of audiences using assistive technologies include the following:
- Individuals who are blind, visually impaired or color blind may use screen readers, which read web content out loud, magnification functionality to expand text size, or differing color scheme for usability.
- Individuals with mobility impairments may use a specialized mouse, trackball or trackpad, keyboard-only or alternative pointing device to access web content.
- Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may use transcripts, captions or on-screen interpreting to access web content.