Website Editing Digest

Sent 10/31/2017

Purpose of this email:

- ATI (Accessible Technology Initiative) awareness

I wanted to inform you of some changes in how we implement and enforce technology accessibility on the University website. There aren't any changes to the initiative itself, we've been required to do these things for years. The Chancellor's Office is making ATI (Accessible Technology Initiative) one of their top priorities. The real change is that you will be hearing more on this topic in the near future from the CO, leadership on campus and from your web team.

Stephanie and I have already started making notes in our responses to you when we publish a page, informing you that we made edits to the page to be conformed. In some cases, if the change is extensive, we have returned it for you to make the correction. PennState has a great resource on Website Accessibility techniques.

That all said, here are a few things to keep in mind when editing the content on your pages.

  1. Schedule a periodic review of your site, click through every page and see if anything is out of date (i.e. changes in personal, phone or office, dates and any curriculum information posted on an academic department). Check for broken links* on your pages. Delete old document files on the web server – let us know if you would like to do that and we can guide you through that process.
  2. Add alternative text to all the images. It's required so a visitor with visual disabilities is able to get the same information when visiting our website with a screen reader. If the image or graphic has text, that text needs to be available in the "alternative text" field in its entirety. Meaning, all of the text on that graphic needs to be entered into the "alternative text" field when you add the image. This applies to jpg of a flyer as well, you can have the text available on the page, but you would still need to enter it into the alternative text field of the image. Read more on alt text
  3. Avoid "click here" links; instead use text that will tell the reader at a quick glance what they will get once they click. If it's action-oriented, use the action word in the hyperlink. Do not use the URL as the text either. Learn more about accessible text links
    Here is a quick example:
    Inaccessible link text: Click here for instructions on how to use the new Penn State Web tool.
    Inaccessible link text: Visit the following website for instructions:
    Accessible link text: Instructions for the new Penn State Web tool are available online.
  4. Digital content must conform to accessibility guidelines. Digital content is any document, presentation, video, or other multimedia posted on a website.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.

Next email: Broken links and old PDF file clean up

* Did you know when you open a page in draft/edit mode, the system scans the page and alerts you if there is a broken link on the page? See screenshot, but more on that next time.

Thank you!