In recent years, online ADA compliance has become an important issue for many schools. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools are required to make their learning resources accessible to those with learning challenges. While plenty of administrators are aware that their web content is not yet compliant, many have delayed making changes, need to learn more about it, or simply don’t know how to get started.
First, it is essential to understand what makes web content accessible, and why accessibility is so critical. “Website accessibility” enables people with disabilities to view, understand, navigate, and interact with your web content. By creating accessible web content, you can ensure that all students receive an equally meaningful learning experience.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were created by the World Wide Web Consortium as a list of standards to follow when creating online materials. These guidelines benefit people with blindness, low vision, deafness, hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, and speech disabilities.
Here are some basic tips for creating accessible content:
- Color Contrast: Ensure that your text has an appropriate color contrast ratio (4.5:1) between text and background colors or images. This will help those with contrast sensitivity and color blindness.
- Reading Order: Present content in a logical sequence for all readers. This means organizing your content with headings and properly sequenced paragraphs, as well as setting up text to narrate in the intended order for those using assistive technology.
- Alternative Texts: Link your multimedia content to alternative text to ensure all users have access to the same information. Alternative texts support readers who have difficulty viewing images or hearing audio. Provide text alternatives for images so they may be narrated for students using screen readers. Create a full transcription of audio for audio/video features on your website.
As we look to the future of education, web content will play a growing role in your communication with students, staff, parents, and community members. If you are feeling increasing pressure to make your content more accessible, Bridgeway Education may be able to help. We can start by evaluating a sample of your content against accessibility guidelines. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridgeway Education provides innovative publishing solutions for education providers.
Learn about other resources charter schools can access by joining our email subscription list.