Website Accessibility Policy

View a printable PDF version of this policy 

PURPOSE

A strong web presence is a major component of the Academy’s marketing strategy, providing an avenue for MMA to extend its visibility. The following website standards were created to ensure consistency, support mobile optimization, deliver a strong brand, provide ease of access and portray a diverse Academy community.  Information posted on the Academy’s website must be applicable to as broad an audience as possible. MMA is committed to making all of its website accessible to people with disabilities, including those with visual, aural, motor, cognitive, and other challenges.

Furthermore, this policy reflects the efforts made via Academy websites to meet the governing objectives of our five year plan:

  • Achieve a more diverse 1,650-member student body by 2019;
  • Enhance and improve, in both excellence and diversity, our student body, faculty and staff;
  • Improve institutional effectiveness;
  • Optimize available resources in support of the mission of the Academy.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all Academy members who publish content to any Academy website.

POLICY

The following standards will be followed when publishing content to Academy websites:

Image Alt Attributes
All images and image map regions should have their “alt” attribute set for accessibility reasons. The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

Image Sizes
Images should be no wider than the widest possible space allotted to the image within the webpage. They should be resized before uploading them to the website. If you need help resizing an image before using it on the website, please submit a Help Desk ticket. Once uploaded, the easiest way to ensure mobile optimization is to set the image to 100% width.

Image Choice
Visitors make value judgments about our school based on the images used. Post a few photos of sporting events and users see an emphasis on athletics. A video gallery with thumbnails of people that all look the same and users see a lack of diversity. When selecting images, be conscious of what each one communicates individually and as part of the whole.

Each department section on our campus website must include at least one photo that includes gender or racial diversity. As a complete website body, at least 50% of the departments will include an image that includes racial diversity.  The same images should not be used repetitively throughout the site to fit this requirement. Images should be as current as the current uniform.

Descriptive Links
Linked text should always describe the content it links to. Never create a link that says only “click here.” Some accessibility programs for the blind will read all linked text on the page, and hearing “click here” will not tell the user what the link means.

Using Tables
Use tables appropriately.  Tables should be used only for their intended purpose which is to display tabular data (such as information from a spreadsheet). Using tables for design or layout purposes is bad practice, and has a detrimental effect on accessibility.

PDFs and Documents
When end-users are viewing our websites they are using a browser, and we should optimize our content for that type of viewing. Documents meant to be distributed in paper format should be reformatted when added to our websites. Document uploads are also not searchable by search engines like Google or the search function on our main website. To better assist end-users in finding your content, create a webpage.

Linking to External Sources
Links to other websites or documents should open in a new tab. This keeps our web site open in a tab, easing the end-user’s route back to our content.

Using All-Caps
All-Caps should be avoided for readability purposes. Many websites use text in all caps to emphasize their message. However, what they’re actually doing is de-emphasizing their message because text in all caps reduces the shape contrast for each word. All caps does not mean people can see it better.

Currency of content
Content should be up to date and accurate. No content is better than posting incorrect or dated content.

Video
All electronic multimedia resources used by the Academy for instruction, communication, marketing, promotion or other academic or business purposes must be Accessible. Video must be closed-captioned and audio-described and audio resources must be transcribed.

ENFORCEMENT

The Academy website is subject to periodic monitoring to ensure that these standards are being followed. Action will be taken by the Enterprise Systems department to edit webpages to meet navigation, content, and design goals.

RESPONSIBILITY

In conjunction with all Academy members who publish website content, the Enterprise Systems department will monitor the Academy websites to ensure the usability standards are met.

This policy is owned by the Director of Enterprise Systems, who will coordinate any and all revisions.

REFERENCES

Framework

W3C

Regulations and Requirements

ADA

Supporting

Standards and Procedures

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Title III     

 

 

REVISION HISTORY

This section contains comments on any revisions that were made to this document and the date they were made.

Version Number

Issued Date

Changes Made By

Description of Changes

1.0

7/23/2015

Liz Novak Initial Draft

2.0

1/15/2016

Liz Novak  Added diversity requirement for images to better fit our diversity objective in our 5-year plan.

3.0

2/3/2016

Liz Novak Changed formatting to match official Academy policy format.

4.0

10/19/2017

Fran McDonald, Elizabeth Benway, Anne Marie Fallon, and Liz Novak Reviewed for publication, added video requirements.