As require by System Regulation 29.01.04, Accessibility of Electronic and Information Resources, Tarleton shall comply with the Title 1, Rule §206.70 of the Texas Administrative Code, Accessibility and Usability of Institution of Higher Education Web Sites, which implements the access standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
EIR Accessibility Coordinator (EIRAC)
1 TAC 213.14 created the EIRAC to ensure each agency and institution of higher education complies with Texas EIR Accessibility statutes and rules to provide accessibility. Tarleton State University’s EIRAC is D’Ann Jackson.
All Texas A&M University System members have an EIRAC, and they collaborate on ways to improve procedures the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) describes in their roles and responsibilities.
By its many names, including Electronic and Information Technology/Resources (EIT / EIR) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the Section 508 Refresh has emphasized the importance of broadening its coverage for accessibility standards across:
- Web (e.g., internet/intranet website, web applications, online forms, social media platforms)
- Non-web content (e.g., portable/cross-device document formats, word processing document formats, email, audio/video mobile apps, software and operating systems)
- Hardware / video (e.g. phones and fax machines, smart phones, tablets, notebooks / laptops, data processing devices)
- Any future technologies
The rule’s refresh aligns Section 508 standards to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), standards used internationally and supported many times over the recent years by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in litigation over civil rights protected in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section 508 require compliance with Level A and Level AA criteria. Level AAA is optional, though highly recommended, to improve access.
Universal Design is a principle that prioritizes accessibility, inclusivity, and usability. This approach to design seeks to ensure every user can utilize the EIR. To learn more, visit the Universal Design page.
Guidance and Best Practices
While the WCAG 2.0 standards are extensive with regard to rules and techniques, we want to make sure you have relevant examples of how you can comply with the standards in your daily activities, so we are providing you with solutions based on topics.
- Alternative text, also known as alt text, is a description of a graphic (image, video, etc.) read aloud by a screen reader. Alternative text should be provided for all graphics. Read more about alternative text.
- Audio descriptions are additional audio tracks that aid those who cannot see the media by describing the visual elements which appear. Read more about audio descriptions.
- Closed captioning (abbreviated as CC) is alternative text synchronized with media content. It should be provided for all non-textual content in order to aid those who cannot see or hear the media.. Read more about closed captioning.
- When considering Color and design, ensure text and graphics are readable and understandable. This includes ensuring text has sufficient contrast. Read more about color and design.
- Some fonts are more accessible than others. Sans serif fonts are preferred due to their simplicity. Fanciful scripted fonts should be avoided when possible. Read more about fonts.
- Headings should be structured semantically and accurately describe their topic or purpose. There should only be one Heading level 1 (and located at the top of the page). Subsequent heading levels should follow a linear order (H1 > H2 > H3, etc.). Read more about headings.
- Links should be written in the active voice and should typically use a call-to-action. Links should not be written as “click here”. Read more about links.
- Lists can organize information more logically than a paragraph. Read more about lists.
- Paragraphs are often used when headings, lists, or tables would be more appropriate. Read more about paragraphs.
- Tables are a great way to express organized content. However, depending on user’s viewport and settings, they may not always display properly. Therefore, tables (especially ones with several columns) should be used judiciously, and only when displaying tabular data. Read more about tables.
- Text content should always be formatted in order to be accessible to everyone. Text should be understandable and readable. The size, color, font, and styling should be easily readable. It should be organized under proper headings and subheadings. There are many best practices for text content. Read more about text.
- Transcriptions are alternative text for non-textual content such as videos, podcasts, music with lyrics). Although often time consuming, you should try to provide transcriptions for all non-text content. Read more about transcriptions.
All products should conform with WCAG 2.0 requirements. The following list is not exhaustive but deals with many of the common products we use at the university.