The University of Virginia is committed to provide equal access to information, programs, and activities delivered through its official digital resources. Official digital resources include web sites, web-based applications, digital content, and media used to conduct university business or academic activities delivered through the internet and the University's intranet.
Currently, our policy directs us to meet Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), specifically the WCAG 2.0/AA standard. As of Jan 18, 2017 the Section 508 refresh has been recorded in the Federal Register and requires compliance for federal agencies by Jan 18, 2018. This updated set of standards incorporates key aspects of the WCAG standard and provides standards for other areas of technology in addition to digital content.
Creating and maintaining accessible content is a journey - not a one and done endeavor. Accessibility should be part of development from the onset of the project. Testing for and maintaining compliance is also an ongoing process. The following links provide resources and guidance to assist in this effort.
- Policy and Standards
- UVA's Digital Accessibility Project
- Getting Started: Guidance and Training
- Accessible Document Creation/Remediation
- Development and Testing Tools
- Social Media Accessibility
- Captioning and Audio Description
- Accessibility Information from Major Vendors and Information on Software Titles In Use at UVA
- University Policy: IRM-008: University Information Technology Accessibility
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (508/255 Refresh Jan 18, 2017): Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Final Standards and Guidelines
- W3C - Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines: WCAG 2.0 Overview
- Video Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards
- VPAT 2.1 (Information Technology Industry Council - March 2018)
- WCAG 2.0 Checklist (Simplified) - WebAIM
As part of the President's Executive Committee on Digital Access, the Digital Accessibility Project (DAP) currently underway at UVA is providing access to a number of tools by Level Access, the consulting firm working with UVA for this project. For more information on access and the use of the following tools, as well as the project itself, contact Catherine Spear or Melvin Mallory, ADA Coordinator in EOCR, or Don Reynard in ITS-CACS.
- AMP (Accessibility Managment Platform)
- AMP for Mobile
- Access Alchemy
- Access University
- Access Analytics
Resources from peer institutions
- Getting Started with Accessibility (University of Washington)
- Core Skills for Web Developers (University of Minnesota)
- Web Accessibility (Michigan State University)
- Accessibility (Penn State)
- Assistive Technology Initiative (George Mason Univ)
- Digital Accessibility Resources (Univ of Colorado - Boulder)
- Electronic Accessibility / Web Accessibility (Univ of Montana)
- WebAIM: The best place to start!
- Log into lynda.com with your Netbadge credentials and access a series of Accessibility courses
- Univ of Illinois Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES) IT Accessibility Badging Program
- The Accessibility MOOC: Inclusive Online Course Design
- WAI Web Accessibility Tutorials: Image Concepts
- Step-by-step guides to solving common accessibility problems in various document types - Michigan State Univ
- Making Images Accessible - DIAGRAM Center
- Text alternatives - a decision tree To help web writers write better text alternatives for images
- HHS: Making Files Accessible
- Tips for Creating EPub 3 Documents
- National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NACDAE) - Cheatsheets for accessible document creation
- California Community Colleges: Accessible Document Creation
- Microsoft: Office Accessibility Center
- Karen McCall: Best Practices for Accessible Documents and Use of Adaptive Technology for MS Office 2016 (Windows)
Vendors are available to remediate documents. Cost is dependent upon the complexity of the document.
First ask yourself if the document must be in the .pdf file format. Created as an inflexible format, .pdf was designed to lock-in fonts, colors, spacing - basically disallow any modification to the document so it could look the same across applications and operating systems. By "remediating" or creating an accessible .pdf document, you are trying to make a document designed to be inflexible, flexible.
Can your document be HTML or read-only Word (.doc) which can be much more accessibile? If not, below are links to help create accessible .pdf documents.
- Making PDFs Accessible (Univ of Arkansas)
- Create and verify PDF accessibility (Acrobat Pro)
- Microsoft: Create accessibility PDFs
- WebAIM: PDF Accessibility
For complex PDF remediation:
- Appligent Document Services
Keep in mind that automated testing tools uncover less than 30% of potential accessibility issues. It is important that you also conduct a manual functional test.
- The 6 Simplest Web Accessibility Tests Anyone Can Do - Karl Groves
- Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA): a free screen reader
- WAVE by WebAIM
- How To Test Websites for Accessibility - Free Testing Tools (George Mason University)
- Accessibility Testing: Deque Systems - aXe
- University of Illinois - Evaluation and Design Tools (AInspector Sidebar for Firefox, Functional Accessibility Evaluator, Bookmarklets)
- ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1
- Drupal Groups: Accessibility
- 11 Point Accessibility Checklist for Drupal Content Authors (Princeton Univ)
- WordPress Codex Accessibility
- WordPress Accessibility Team Blog
- W3C Accessibility Testing
- Web Developer Extension for Mozilla-based Browsers - WebAIM
- LevelAccess Color Contrast Checker
- Contrast Checker (Acart Communications)
- Testing Your Page For Color Blindness
- Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit
- FaceBook Accessibility
- Social Media Accessibility - FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube (Queen's College)
- Live Captions - YouTube
- Contribute translated content - YouTube
There are two types of captioning to be aware of:
- Live or Realtime captioning (Usually performed via live or remote CART)
- Post-production captioning
Live or Realtime captioning is used when captions are provided during a live event. This event can be either in person (e.g. presentations, in class, major events such as gradution) or via the web (e.g. streaming a live event over the web, engaging in web conference). This type of service is coordinated through the Student Disability Access Center. At least three weeks notice is required to arrange for this accommodation.
Information regarding post-production captioning at UVA is maintained by the UVA Library. Our two primary vendors are 3Play Media and cielo24. Having agreed to the state's terms and conditions, we utilize contracts with these vendors originally negotiated by George Mason Univ through VASCUPP.
For information regarding account creation, pricing and services available through each vendor: UVA Library - Accessibility Services - Captioning
More information on captioning and guidance for DIY captioning:
- Best Practices for Captioning: The Captioning Key
- Captioning Matters
- Adding Captions to FaceBook Pages
- YouTube: Subtitles & closed captions
- DIY Captioning Techniques (Ohio State Univ)
- 3Play Media: Everything You Need To Transcribe Videos & Create Closed Captions In-house
Audio descriptions provide a verbal description of the visual images and are intended as accommodations for individuals who are blind or with low vision. This service can be provided for video, but can also be part of live cultural events. It is time intensive, expensive, and an art. However, as technology improves, providing audio descriptions for video is becoming easier through tools such as YouDescribe.
- The Audio Description Project
- Audio Description Associates
- The Visual Made Verbal (Book available through Amazon)
- YouDescribe: What is YouDescribe? A video tutorial
- A very good description of using the text-track method of audio description by Terrill Thompson. The information references his presentation at CSUN 2017 as well as usability research he has done with screen reader users.
Accessibility information for software titles in use at UVA