We are committed to enhancing the accessibility and usability of this site for everyone and following web standards.
- We strive to use use semantically meaningful markup and good document structure to organize pages with hierarchies and headers. Some screen readers and other user agents can use this structural information and present the user with an overview of a web page based on the headings and sub-headings.
- This site uses cascading style sheets that have been validated through W3C. We comply with CSS Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 . CSS are a great way to specify the look of a site, e.g. layout, fonts, colors, leading, margins, typefaces, and other aspects of style without compromising its structure.
- The content of each page is obtainable and functional, even if your browser or user agent does not support stylesheets.
- Font sizes are specified with relative units for easy resizing. Many low-vision users make use of devices to enlarge content displayed on their monitors. By using relative units, these users are able to change the size of the text without much difficulty.
- Pages use liquid design so they can be resized for different window sizes and screen resolutions. This means the page layout stretches to fill the space available, so that no matter what your browser window size or screen resolution, the website adapts itself to the space available, putting you in control. Liquid design allows for less horizontal scrolling at small resolutions, and should make the site easier to browse with a screen magnifier.
- Any information conveyed through the use of color is also available without color.
- The site has been designed with a specific color scheme and evaluated for luminosity and contrast, so that content is accessible for people with color vision deficiencies.
- All content images used in this site include alt attributes.
- Purely decorative images use null alt attributes or are are rendered via cascading style sheet background images.
- Any complex images include longdesc attributes or inline descriptions to explain the meaning of each image to non-visual readers.
- Landmark role="" attributes are used to help assistive technology users orientate themselves within a document, and provide a mechanism to navigate documents. The idea behind them is to mark out the page so that people with disabilities can find sections of pages easily. Landmarks provide what people are actually trying to find out, where is the main content? Where is the search area? Where is the navigation? etc These are the things that people really need to know and do (and sighted people can know and do at a glance).
- Links are written to make sense out of context.
- Because pop-up or spawned windows have accessibility and usability issues, (confusion, disorientation, breaking the back button etc.) none are used.
- A site map is provided to assist users in conceptualizing the framework of the site.
- Breadcrumb navigation is provided as a supplement to the global navigation. A breadcrumb trail tells a user "where they are" within the site.
- Search is provided on each page because some users prefer to use a search engine to reach target content.
- Linkrot, the obsolescence of the links on a Web page, is a well-known problem for every website. We try to be very conscientious and not change, rename or remove URLs on our site. But external links are completely out of our control. So on a regular basis we find and repair any dead or broken links with a link checking program. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over availability of the linked pages.
- We are not responsible for the contents, reliability, or standards compliance of the external websites. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Linking to other sites shall not be taken as endorsement of any kind.
- The natural language used is English. This is specified in the markup on each web page.
- The abbreviation element is used to explain/expand abbreviations at least once (especially the first occurrence).
- A glossary of terms is provided to aid understanding.
- All form controls are appropriately and explicitly labeled, aiding users of screenreaders and speech browsers.
- We provide a phone number as an alternative form of access for our online forms.
- Form validation routines do not rely on client-side script.
Conformance, Validation and Standards Compliance
- Conformance evaluation of web accessibility is accomplished with a combination of semi-automated evaluation tools, manual evaluation by experienced reviewers, and user testing. Evaluation methods and tools which we use are described in Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility.
- We make every effort to comply with:
- Web Accessibility Standards for the University of Minnesota
- W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- Section 508 Guidelines
- Our site is validated to W3C HTML standards
- Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make this site more accessible or usable. Contact ITSS.