Accessibility FAQs

The Online Accessibility Working Group (OAWG) is providing information as they develop it through email, News & Notes, flyers, visits with key stakeholder groups, training, and the Online Accessibility hub.

All web material must meet WCAG 2.0, Level AA standards by August 2019. These standards provide common definitions and practices that are widely implemented across the country.  Strategic Communications has provided and will continue to provide campus training on WCAG standards for all website managers and content editors under centrally controlled solutions. Additional trainings for faculty/staff are available on a routine basis and can be accessed along with guidelines/best practices on the Online Accessibility Hub.

The OAWG has implemented a variety of helpful tools for faculty/staff to help with this transition.

Within the Online Accessibility Hub, faculty/staff can peruse through a variety of useful how-tos, video tutorials, best practices, etc. including direct links to:

LSU’s Digital and Continuing Education’s new online course entitled “Designing and Teaching Accessible Courses” to be offered November 2018 and the Faculty Technology Center (FTC) upcoming training courses and support.

Captioning is also currently provided via Kaltura; some manual editing may be necessary. Documentation on how to use these tools are provided via the hub.

The OAWG and FTC are exploring the acquisition of software tools/resources to assist in achieving accessibility. We are currently looking at software options for assisting in the creation of accessible equations and chemical/biological notation, site licensing for Acrobat to allow for PDF editing, and accessibility checking in Moodle. As additional resources along these lines are developed, the Online Accessibility Hub will be updated.

Aside from the above mentioned tools and support provided, the OAWG team will routinely send emails and other notifications to faculty/staff and will continue presentations with key stakeholder groups, including for staff.

Additionally, the Division of Strategic Communication keeps the Campus Communicators updated on a routine basis, so faculty and staff can talk with their department/college communicator for help, suggestions, tips, etc.

The OAWG has recommended that a compliance officer develop a sampling protocol, review web-based materials each semester, and make recommendations for compliance based on this review. Remediation and corrective actions are currently being discussed. This is crucial as the OCR, as stated in the resolution agreement, will spot-check LSU for years to come.

The OAWG and FTC are exploring the acquisition of software tools/resources to assist in achieving accessibility. We are currently looking at software options for assisting in the creation of accessible equations and chemical/biological notation, as well as other work-arounds that are consistent with the letter and spirit of the regulations.

In the meantime, there are some things that can be done to make equations, charts, flowcharts, and other complex images accessible. Guidelines and options are available on the hub.

The goal is to create proactively accessible content. This includes things like simple and intuitive navigation, ALT tags on pictures, clearly labeled links, accessible PDFs, and closed captioning.  

 

Beyond this is the issue of accommodations.  Accommodations should be implemented when an already accessible course still cannot meet the needs of a specific individual student.  In that case, the student would need to contact Disability Services, who would work with the student to obtain verification of the need and then craft a plan to accommodate that student’s unique needs.  This might be things like extended test-taking time, assistance with downloading and printing course materials, or even audio descriptions on videos (in addition to close captioning).

 

 

As a public institution, LSU must abide by several federal regulations that govern accessibility.

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The Rehabilitation act is a federal anti-discrimination law that implicates federal and federally-funded programs, including institutions that receive federal funding.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is widely considered to be the first statute to declare civil rights for individuals with disabilities. Under Section 504, an individual with a disability must have equal access to all programs, services, and activities receiving a federal subsidy. Web-based communications for public educational institutions are covered by this as well.

In addition, Section 508 mandates that federal agencies make electronic information accessible to members of the public with disabilities, as well as employees with disabilities. Section 508 is typically interpreted and enforced in terms of proactive accessibility, which means that accessibility to persons with disabilities should be built into the design so that accommodations are not necessary. Section 508 sets specific standards for how digital products, software, and services should be accessible to users, and these are reflected in WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

In short, LSU is expected to provide proactive accessibility measures for all prospective students, regardless of any disability present.

All LSU-affiliated websites must be compliant, even those not on the LSU domain. Since LSU is a public institution, all content must be accessible, not just the public-facing websites.

One option to mitigate accessibility problems is to bring websites into the Omni (OU Campus), which is the university-supported Content Management Solution. The Division of Strategic Communication will help assist this transition and provide support.

For individual instructional and research websites, the individuals who built or manage the content remain responsible for assuring the compliance of the site.

Yes. ITS currently offers free, basic WordPress websites for faculty. However, they will be moving those sites off of WordPress and into OU Campus over the next 6 months.

Yes, Moodle itself is compliant; however, the individual content that faculty members upload may not be compliant.

HTML text blocks are not, in and of themselves, out of compliance.  You could run a check on the specific code using an HTML validator, but it’s important to note that that is within the text editor of Moodle, so it’s also not pure HTML to begin with.  On a case-by-case basis, you’d need to look at how complicated they are from a formatting standpoint.  Tables and figures will likely be the most problematic.

OAWG is currently looking into acquiring a plugin for Moodle that checks all material posted. This is not likely to be available by the due date of August 2019. However, the Online Accessibility Hub has many tools, how-tos, and best practices for you to make material accessible.

Email via Microsoft Outlook is in itself compliant. However, attachments and links may not be. Visit the Online Accessibility Hub for quick tips on email accessibility.

While certainly not an exhaustive list, the following is representative of many common accessibility mistakes. Note that many, if not most, of these can be found and fixed by writing your web pages in HTML and running them through an HTML validator.

  1. Images without meaningful alternative text
  2. Audio or video without captions or transcripts
  3. Lack of alternative information for users who can't access frames or scripts
  4. Tables that are difficult to decipher when linearized
  5. Sites where color is the only way to distinguish elements, or with poor color contrast
  6. Fonts that are fixed-sized; fonts should be relatively sized in a CSS
  7. Form fields that are not properly labeled
  8. Pages without a "Skip-Navigation" link
  9. Spelling errors
  10. Broken links
  11. Failure to assign a meaningul document title

A high priority should be given to multimedia that is posted to public websites where the audience is potentially large and the disability status of viewers is not known. Some multimedia, such as Zoom meeting recordings and classroom presentations that will not be posted on Moodle is a low priority. It may be acceptable in these situations to provide transcriptions or captions only upon request or when there is an approved accommodation.