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Web Accessibility

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of eliminating barriers that prevent disabled individuals from accessing or interacting with the Web. When websites are properly designed, developed, and edited individuals have equal access to information and functionality.

Web accessibility encompasses any disability that impacts a individual's access to the Web, such as visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, vocal, and neurological disabilities.

For more information on the basics of Web accessibility, visit http://webaim.org/intro/.

How Do Disabilities Impact an Individual's Web Experience?

Some major categories of disability that impact an individual's Web experience are:

Disability Description
Visual Blindness, low vision, color-blindness
Hearing Deafness and hard-of-hearing
Motor Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control
Cognitive Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information

Each of these disabilities requires specific design decisions and adaptations to ensure individuals have equitable user experiences. While these modifications are requisite for disabled users, most of the adaptations benefit all users. For instance, helpful illustrations, clearly-organized content, and coherent navigation improve the general user experience. Similarly, while captions are essential for deaf users, they can also be helpful to anyone viewing video without access to audio.

Who is responsible for Web Accessibility at Texas State?

Web accessibility is the shared responsibility of all website owners, managers, editors, and the technical teams that administer and support the technologies used to create and deliver Web content at Texas State University. These individuals work as partners with the Office of Disability Services, Information Technology Division, and University Marketing department to improve Web Accessibility at the university by attending user education activities aimed at executing best practices relative to Web design and development.

While Web accessibility is a group engagement, Gato editors have the greatest ability to impact (positively or negatively) individual websites. Anyone with edit permissions in Gato is required to attend training to learn how to use the system tools and create web content following current web accessibility best practices. For more information about the training or to sign up for a session, visit the Gato I: Fundamentals Training page in Signup.

Are there any other Web accessibility resources at Texas State?

Yes, in addition to the required training for all Gato editors, the university also offers public education events and on-demand resources to ensure Texas State websites are accessible. 

As accessibility rules and guidelines change, this information is updated. Make sure to check the current resources by visiting the Accessibility Resources page.