What you need to know

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of designing websites that are usable by all people without the need for adaptation or specialized design. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to equally effective information and functionality.

Why is it important?

Everyone benefits from an inclusive accessible website. Accessibility is not just for the blind or the deaf. There are many types of disabilities. We all live on a spectrum of abilities. Our environment and devices change our abilities and disabilities on a day-to-day basis, even hour-by-hour. Read about all the benefits that come with accessible websites

Technology can make the world more accessible to individuals with sensory impairments or disabilities. But in some cases, it can raise new barriers and re-segregate our society. That is why accessibility has been litigated by individuals who fear that they may end up on the wrong side of the digital divide.

What are Duke's Guidelines on web accessibility?

Duke's Guidelines are to strive for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA compliance. Duke believes web content needs to be accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological abilities. Everyone is encouraged to keep web accessibility in mind to maximize every user's web experience.

What are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standard is an international technical standard that has been adopted and in some cases required by federal, state and local law. It is part of website requirements as set forth by U.S. law under Section 508 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act affords Civil Rights to individuals with disabilities.

    What are some practical examples of WCAG guidelines?

    • Text equivalents for every non-text element
      • Images get alt tags
      • Complex graphics or charts have descriptions
    • Multimedia alternatives are provided
      • Videos and audio have transcripts or captions
    • Color can not be required to understand content or use
      • Color can’t be the sole method to determine meaning.
      • Text must have high enough contrast to be legible.
    • Forms can be completed in a variety of ways
      • Form elements need labels.
      • User should be able to navigate the form without a mouse.

    Learn more about the WCAG principles and guidelines