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Web Accessibility a Must at ASU


The efforts of UTO developer Kathy Marks and her team has resulted in a tremendous web accessibility resource at Web accessibility and universal design is incredibly important for people of all abilities. Web accessibility is being recognized as a crucial part of web design across the internet, and ASU provides various resources to make sure web accessibility is the best it can be across university sites.

Marks said her team is “going back to the basics,” which is actually a unique approach in today’s technology world. “We’re not just throwing another new technology at the problem...We’re auditing both new and existing sites, identifying problems, and fixing them. Then we continue monitoring those sites to ensure we catch any new problems that come up. And we’re training people to plan, design, develop and maintain accessible websites.”

But what exactly is web accessibility? Well, per ASU’s own guidelines, it improves access to a website for people with:

  • vision impairments or blindness

  • color blindness or deficiency

  • hearing loss or deafness

  • impaired mobility

  • neurological or cognitive impairments

Some things to consider when making a site accessible are, at least:

  • Writing for accessibility

  • Color and contrast

  • Forms

  • Images

  • Links

  • Navigation

  • Typography

These standards are helpful for developers and designers across the web. As the ESPN Web Accessibility Guide states, over 57 million Americans are living with a disability, and 2.17 million access the internet regularly. A further 1.5 million find web browsing challenging, and 9 out of 10 websites are not up to web accessibility standards.

Take a look at this chart from Microsoft’s Inclusive Toolkit Manual, which you can also view as a text chart. “Inclusion is a key tenet of ASU’s mission, and we’re committed to providing an online environment where everyone is included, no matter what their abilities,” Marks said. “ASU really does mean it when we say we welcome everyone.”

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