UHCL is committed to serving all students, faculty, and staff. Some simple but important web content habits help ensure all users and assistive devices can interact with the website.
Good accessibility practices help visitors perceive all information, operate all website functions, and understand all content and tasks.
By Texas law and UH System policy, UHCL web pages and documents must conform to the requirements of U.S. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which follows W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. The federal policy excludes WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.2: Time Based Media.
Creating and maintaining an accessible public website for UHCL is a shared responsibility between university leadership, web coordinators, web editors, and content creators.
Need additional help with accessibility on your UHCL web page?
Organize content using headings to help clarify the content of a page. Headings should function as an outline of the text.
Headings range from level 1 to 6. They should be used in a logical sequence, meaning heading numbers should not be skipped or used out of order.
For each heading, select the correct option based on its number, not its visual style.
Heading 1 should be used only for page titles, and it is automatically applied by Omni. Web editors typically use Heading 2 or lower in web page content.
Testing Tip: Write the page headings as an outline, noting where you would nest sections and subsections. Do your heading numbers match your outline?
Examples of Corrected Heading Structure
|Incorrect Heading Structure||Corrected Heading Structure|
Heading 1: Communications
Heading 1: Communications
Heading 1: Student Programs
Heading 1: Student Programs
Use the tools in Omni to add formatting such as bold, italics, bulleted lists, or numbered lists. Pasting pre-formatted text can cause problems in the code.
To create emphasis, use either bold or italics. Avoid using all caps, which can be difficult for visitors and assistive technology to parse. Use all caps for acronyms only, such as UHCL.
Also avoid underlining text on websites, as underlines can make regular text appear to be a link.
Use brief, clear language that still makes sense out of context. Links should give visitors a clear idea about where they will go.
Avoid general phrases, such as "click here" or "learn more," without including additional information in the link text.
Also, avoid using direct URLs as link text, and avoid using identical text for links to different destinations.
Testing Tip: Write out a list of all the links on your page, using only the linked text. Are the links clear and understandable out of context? Do any repeat?
Examples of Corrected Links
|Incorrect Link Text||Corrected Link Text|
|Learn More||Accounting Program Overview|
|Click Here||Explore the Course Schedule|
Register for "Sculpting 101"
Register for "Sketching"
Register for "Ceramics"
Use the "Alternative Description" field on images in Omni to add alternative text describing the image. Screen readers and other assistive technologies read these descriptions aloud. Typically, descriptions should be brief.
Example: For the image in this section, the alternative description reads "UHCL students at work in a biology lab."
Avoid images with text in them. If an image with text is unavoidable, be sure all visible text from the image is included in the "Alternative Description" field or is included in text elsewhere on the page. Whether the webpage is read visually or aloud, visitors should receive the same information.
For graphs and diagrams, include a description that explains the meaning of the image. If the description is long, it can be included in the page's main text, with only a brief summary in the image's "Alternative Description" field.
For purely decorative icons or images, an alternative description may not be necessary. If you're not sure, reach out to your web coordinator.
Videos and Multimedia
All videos and other multimedia require a text alternative. For videos, include closed captioning. For audio, include a transcript.
YouTube creates automated captions for all videos, which you can also edit by hand or replace with your own captioning.
Accessible Video and Multimedia Resources
Online, keep data tables as simple as possible. Each cell should contain a single piece of information. If a page has multiple tables, use a separate table snippet for each.
Tables should always have either a heading or caption to indicate what they are about.
Every table should also have table heading cells, either as column headings, row headings, or both.
If your table has a cell with no data, leave it entirely empty. Avoid using hyphens or other visual signifiers that the cell has no data.
For complex tables, a web coordinator can help modify the code to ensure accessibility.
Accessible Table Resources
PDFs, Presentations, and Other Documents
Before uploading a document to the website, check it for accessibility. You may need to work with the creator of the file to make corrections.
Like accessible websites, accessible documents and files typically need clear and/or labeled headings, links, images, and tables.
UHCL's Accessibility Support Team at the UHCL Accessibility Support Center offers regular training on creating various types of accessible documents.