Making Our Website Accessible to All
Manchester School District is working to make our website and all of its content accessible to all users. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also mandatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities, including those with vision and hearing impairments, cognitive disabilities, neurological disabilities, and physical disabilities that prohibit the use of a mouse or touchpad. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines for web accessibility require that all content be Perceivable, Operable, and Understandable to all users. In order to meet these guidelines, all staff who post to our website must understand and follow the guidelines listed below.
Basic Guidelines for Creating Accessible Web Content
- Clearly structure content – use proper heading, subheading, paragraph, and list formats (headings are not to be used for styling text, they create navigation for screen readers and should be used in order as in an outline: H1 is the title, H2 is the section, H3-6 are sub sections in order)
- Use simple text fonts that are easy to read, with no sizing below 12 points.
- Use left justification for most text. Headings may be centered, however, left is preferred.
- Do not use styling (bold, italic) alone to convey importance. Say "Important" or "Please note."
- Images must have alternative (alt) text added in the image settings. This is a description of the images for users of screen reading technology who may not be able to see the image.
- Do not use images of text, except for logos (which must have alt text).
- Do not use blinking images that flash more than 3x per second.
- Videos must be captioned if there is dialogue or music that conveys meaning. Transcripts should also be provided.
- Text color choices must have sufficient contrast (our built-in web styles comply). Use dark colors on light backgrounds and light colors on dark backgrounds.
- Do not use color to convey meaning (ex. ‘click the green button’). Some users may not be able to distinguish colors.
- Use meaningful text for links (Manchester Schools Website, not http://www.manchestertwp.org – avoid ‘click here’ or ‘read more’).
- Underline hyperlinks.
- Properly structure Word, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Google Slides files with titles and headings, proper reading order, and alt text on images and tables.
- PDFs must be text-based and tagged for accessibility – no scanned PDF files. Avoid using PDF’s when content can be placed directly on your site
- Instructions should be clear and concise.
- Do not use tables for layout, avoid complex tables and merged cells, use alt text for tables. Data tables must have headers tagged.
- Create accessible forms by adding text labels that describe the function of each form box.
Use the Accessibility Checker in Finalsite
The accessibility checker in the Finalsite Editor checks for common errors like bad heading structure, non-descriptive link text and missing alt text and it helps you fix them. Watch the video below for a demonstration.