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All requirements outlined here are considered requirements for any Web site or web application, on or off University servers, that attempts to relay information, conduct business or conduct research on behalf or at the expense of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Accessibility is not a suggestion. Law requires it.

It is required by the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) that all public university sites are accessible to people with disabilities. As stated on the Illinois Department of Human Resources Web site (n.d.):

The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) requires Illinois agencies and universities to ensure that their web sites, systems, and other information technologies are accessible to people with disabilities. While theAmericans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require the State to address accessibility in general, the IITAA requires the State to establish and follow specific, functional accessibility standards and to address accessibility proactively.”

In order to comply with the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA), it is imperative that all University Web sites follow certain standards.


Validate your Web Site

All site developers should use accessibility validation tools to determine accessibility. There are many resources to validate a Web site for accessibility. Enter the Web address in the Web sites below and they will create a report of any errors.

Examples of how to make and keep a Web site accessible:

  • “For Web pages, indicate the programming language you are using by starting your code with a standard document type declaration, such as: (IITAA, n.d.)”

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"

  • Identify the language of the document by using the lang attribute in the beginning <html> tag. For example: <html lang="en"> for English.
  • Each page requires a title (<title></title>) element that must consist of text content. Provide meaningful page titles so that individuals using screen readers understand the pages contents.
  • A Header1 (<h1></h1>) tag should be on every page and should identify the page – the <h1> should match all or part of the title content.
  • Use appropriate identifiers for structural elements of a document. For example, <p> identifies a paragraph and <h2> identifies a heading. Header tags should be properly nested (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. in order)
  • Navigation items should be lists and should be properly identified by using <h2>headings (these can be visible or hidden off screen using negative margin styling methods. Do not use visibility: hidden; – this will also hide the text from screen readers)
  • Each image requires an “alt” tag and should have a “title” tag containing a description of the image. Make every attempt to use text as text instead of images as text.
  • Do not convey information with sound alone. Provide text transcripts and/or captions for multimedia containing audio.
  • Do not include content that flashes faster than three times per second.
  • Label tags are needed for all form elements and form fields should be placed in logical tabbing order.
  • If scripts are included on the page, the language must be declared in thescript tag.