Web Page Accessibility
When websites and web tools are properly designed and coded, people with disabilities can use them. However, currently many sites and tools are developed with accessibility barriers that make them difficult or impossible for some people to use.
Making the web accessible benefits individuals, businesses, and society. International web standards define what is needed for accessibility. In addition, NYS defines rules for accessibility on the website of any state institution, and Upstate Medical University falls under this rule.
What is Web Accessibility
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can:
- perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web
- contribute to the Web
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, for example:
- people using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
- older people with changing abilities due to ageing
- people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
- people with “situational limitations” such as in bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio
- people using a slow Internet connection, or who have limited or expensive bandwidth
When developing or redesigning a website, evaluate accessibility early and throughout the development process to identify accessibility problems early, when it is easier to address them. Simple steps, such as changing settings in a browser, can help you evaluate some aspects of accessibility. Comprehensive evaluation to determine if a website meets all accessibility guidelines takes more effort.
There are evaluation tools that help with evaluation. However, no tool alone can determine if a site meets accessibility guidelines. Knowledgeable human evaluation is required to determine if a site is accessible.
Much of the content on the Upstate website is already in an accessible format, the headers, footers and menu navigation are pre-formatted. The center content of pages is where our content editors come in. When adding or updating content on the website you must enter all required information in order to create accessible content.
To check a pages accessibility, you can use various websites that will perform checks. We frequently use the WAVE Accessibility checker. Just enter the URL of your webpage and it will perform a check at various levels.