SRSU Web Accessibility Policy

Reasonable efforts will be made for the Sul Ross State University web sites, www.sulross.edu to accommodate all users with standards-compliant web browsers as well as enabling software or assistive devices.

Standard for Compliance

Sul Ross State University has chosen to adopt standards for accessibility compliance for www.sulross.edu based on the federal Section 508 guidelines and on recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative.

Section 508 Guidelines

http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=12#Web

  1. A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).
  2. Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
  3. Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
  4. Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.
  5. Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
  6. 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.
  7. Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.
  8. 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.
  9. Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.
  10. Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.
  11. A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 section 1194.21(a) through (l).
  14. When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, 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.
  15. A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
  16. When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

W3C Priority 1 Checklist

http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/ In General

  • Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ascii art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.
  • Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
  • Clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document's text and any text equivalents (e.g., captions).
  • Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document.
  • Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.
  • Until user agents allow users to control flickering, avoid causing the screen to flicker.
  • Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content.

And if you use images and image maps

  • Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map.
  • Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

And if you use tables

  • For data tables, identify row and column headers.
  • For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.

And if you use frames

  • Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation. (Note: frames are not to be used on www.sulross.edu.)

And if you use applets and scripts

  • Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.

And if you use multimedia

  • Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text equivalent of a visual track, provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation.
  • For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g., a movie or animation), synchronize equivalent alternatives (e.g., captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track) with the presentation.

And if all else fails

  • If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.

Additional Standards

In addition to the Priority 1 standards adopted by the W3C, a number of Priority 2 and Priority 3 standards have been identified by the university as standards to be observed for www.sulross.edu:

  • Mark up lists and list items properly. (Priority 2)
  • Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate. (Priority 2)
  • Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites. (Priority 2)
  • Provide information about the general layout of a site (e.g., a site map or table of contents). (Priority 2)
  • Do not override the web site's style sheets to change fonts, headings and other HTML elements unless absolutely necessary. (based on Priority 2 general standards)
  • Do not use marquees on web pages. (based on Priority 2 scripting standards)
  • Ensure that foreground and background color combinations for text provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen. (Priority 3)

Use of PDFs and Other Non-HTML Documents

To serve the needs of various groups and types of users, Sul Ross State University may present information such as publications or forms in formats other than HTML on its site. General guidelines have been drawn up as to when a certain format is appropriate: Forms on www.sulross.edu and rgc.sulross.edu that are presented as software files such as WordPerfect, MS Word or MS Excel should also be made available in PDF format. Online forms for internal use only at Sul Ross State University, such as timesheets, travel forms and physical plant forms, are exempt from this requirement. Unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, departmental and organizational information should be posted on the web in HTML rather than PDF format. Considerations for posting in non-HTML format include the size and maintainability of a major publication (e.g., the college catalog, the Administrative Policy Manual) or unique layout requirements (e.g., the downloadable version of The Skyline newspaper).

Testing of Pages

To verify compliance, pages are tested using Cynthia.

Additional Information

Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. The committee serves as a central source of information on the abilities, rights, problems and needs of the estimated 4 million Texans with disabilities. The committee's web site has additional information about the history of Texans with disabilities, statistical material and resources to provide a clearer picture about the number of people with disabilities and accessibility programs in Texas.

Contact Information

If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on the university's web site interferes with your ability to access the information, e-mail webtech@sulross.edu. To enable us to respond in a helpful manne, indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the preferred format in which to receive the material, the web address of the requested material and your contact information.