Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the web. Most websites, including Tyndale's, have accessibility barriers that make it difficult for many people with disabilities to use them.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Website accessibility involves creating our website content in a way that ensures people with disabilities are able to use it regardless of any disability they may have.
This means that people with disabilities should be able to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with our website regardless of their permanent or temporary disability.
Why Accessibility Matters
The web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life such as education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and much more. It is essential that the web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities.
Disabilities can affect a person’s capacity to interact with our website in many ways. This may be due to visual, mobility, auditory, cognitive, intellectual or neurological issues. These disabilities may be permanent issues such as colour blindness or hand tremors, or they may be temporary issues like a broken arm or a repetitive stress injury.
— Our legal obligation
As a private, non-profit organization with 50+ employees, we are obligated to make any new or significantly refreshed public websites accessible by complying to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A. (view the legal details)
— Our moral obligation
It is also the right thing to do — as a Christian institution of higher learning, it is our responsibility to make the web a better place and to make our website content available to everyone.
What Are Your Responsibilities
As content creators, you are responsible to create your content in a way that is accessible. The Tyndale WebTeam is doing as much as possible to make sure the content management system will help you (see below), but there are still some things you need to make sure you do. Here are two of the biggest pieces you need to remember to do:
Make sure you add good alternative (alt) text to your images.
This text describes your image to people who are not able to see it. We have provided documentation on using alternative text for you. Alternative text on images is required by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A
Use headings for semantic meaning rather than how they look or feel.
Headings on website content are used to provide structure and indicate different sections of the content. It is important to use headings to convey structure rather than as a design element. There is helpful information available on the proper use of headings — the WebTeam can also walk through this with you if you desire. There will also be some upcoming changes to our heading styles to make this work better for you and those with accessibility issues.
What Are The WebTeam’s Resposibilities
Tyndale’s WebTeam is working hard to ensure that the overall systems that run our websites are implemented in a way that complies with the web content accessibility guidelines. This would include things such as designing with proper colour contrast, using appropriate font sizes and developing reusable patterns that are accessible. We also conduct ongoing accessibility tests on our website.
It is also our goal to provide you, as content creators, training and guidance on how you can create good, accessible content.
Website Content Accessibility Review Added to the Technical Audit Process
In light of our legal and moral obligations to create accessible website content, we have added a website content accessibility review process to the technical audits that are completed when you submit your content for review. This review is to ensure that our website content complies with the web content accessibility guidelines. Content that has accessibility issues will not be published until the accessibility issues are addressed.
Prior to sending your content for review, you may want to review the following documentation:
- Alternative Text for Images
- How to correctly use headings on your webpage
- Using the Right Photo Sizes
- Naming files for use on the web