Once the CVMBS Webmaster Committee visited the ATRC in July 2000 for
a web consultation, plans for the initial
redesign of the CVMBS Home Page and top level pages included making the
CVMBS web site as accessible as possible to everyone, particularly people
with disabilities using assistive technology or adaptive computer equipment.
This commitment to accessibility has been implemented throughout the site
in many ways, some obvious and some subtle. This section contains details
about these accessibility features in order to provide guidelines for
other CSU Web sites to follow.
- Accessibility Standards
The CVMBS web site was developed using the
Complete CSU Web Access Guidelines as its standard for accessible
design. These guidelines are based on documentation provided by the
Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium and Section
- Skip Navigation Links
An invisible link to the content is provided at the top of each page,
allowing users to bypass the navigational links and jump to the content.
This is useful for screen reader users who are familiar with the navigation
of your site and want to get directly to the content.
- Image Alternatives
All images within the CVMBS web site are accompanied by a text phrase
that serves as an alternative, especially when a graphic is used to
represent page content. The image must have a brief text description
accompanying it that explains the meaning of the image for users who
cannot see the image. This is suitable for logos, icons and other simple
graphics. This is done using the ALT attribute for all image <IMG>
- Image Descriptions
In addition to the brief text alternatives for simple graphics, all
rotating and complex images are accompanied by lengthy text that describes
the appearance of the object for users who cannot see it. The text description
page is accessed by a "d" link. There are two schools of thought
of making "d" links visible to sighted users. Some prefer
the link to be the same color as the the background so as not to detract
from the visual presentation. Others perfer to have the link visible
so all users may follow the link for a full description as even small
photos may be difficult for sighted users to see.
- Keyboard Access
The CVMBS web site is designed to be fully accessible to individuals
who use a keyboard or similar device instead of a mouse. The tab key
allows the user to move from link to link and pressing the Enter key
is equivalent to a mouse click. The College Home Page includes an invisible
1 x 1 pixel image in the top left corner as a link to a "Text
Only Version" of the home page should the user choose this
home page. An alternate text page will be the standard for pages
- Hyperlink Text and Titles
Hyperlinks within the CVMBS web site avoid ambiguous phrases such as
"Click Here," and include embedded titles to further amplify their purpose.
home page, all the information in links that flyout is also included
in the link's title attribute which is invisible to the sighted user.
name="Academic Departments" title="Academic Departments:
Anatomy & Neurobiology, Physiology, Clinical Sciences, Environmental
Health, Microbiology, Pathology, Radiological Health Sciences, New Department
Structure"><img alt="Academic Departments" border=0
height=10 name=image1 src="images/acad_dept.gif" vspace=6
- Text Transcripts
For audio segments included in the CVMBS web site, text transcripts
are recommended for the benefit of those who cannot hear the recordings.
- Cascading Style Sheets
Certain design elements of this site, such as text size and color, are
implemented with Cascading Style Sheets which separate the content from
the presentation. Text values are assigned using relative x-values,
a more flexible system allowing users to set browser options for enlarged
- Language Specification
While the primary language of the CVMBS web site is English, there are
many instances of other languages throughout the site. For the benefit
of those using screen readers to vocalize the Web pages to them, such
changes in language are clearly identified.
- Navigation Menus
The CVMBS web site provides rollover left-hand navigation for top-level/departmental
pages (optional), or text-based left-hand navigation for major pages.
- Table Layout and Markup
While tables are used for layout on this site, they are never used to
place sections of text side by side, avoiding potential problems for
users using screen readers. Also, tables use embedded titles and summaries
to explain their purpose and layout.
stamp on all pages and can be used for rollovers and flyouts, and must
be accompanied by a script-free alternative for users whose Web browsers
- Accessibility Testing
Pages of the CVMBS web site are evaluated using alternate browsers,
platforms, adaptive technology and Accessibility Checkers and Tools
such as those listed on the ATRC Resource page at http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/ATRC/tools.htm