University websites are developed with an eye toward optimized accessibility.
We’re a public university, and our content should be accessible to visitors using assistive technologies to access the Internet. We should strive be in compliance with Section 508 standards for web-based intranet and Internet information and applications.
In the past, this has been accomplished primarily by adhering to web coding best practices such as using good semantic HTML to structure web pages, consistently employing alt text for images, captioning videos, not using images or colors as sole conveyors of information, using tables for data presentation only, etc.
The 2015 templates were developed with these best practices in mind, but also in consultation with WCAG 2.0 guidelines. Among other things, they include ARIA elements within the template HTML to provide an extra layer of accessibility for users. Since the templates were launched, they have been updated to meet WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines, per system policy.
The Office of Communications and Marketing tested these templates with users who rely on assistive technology to access our websites, and will continue to do so. As we learn more about how to optimize our code, the university’s web team will share information with the UTWEBDEV listserv and we will issue template updates as needed.
As you design, build, and add content to your websites, it will help you and your site visitors if you familiarize yourself with website accessibility standards, best practices, and code standards such as ARIA.
We love our orange and we are proud of its unique qualities! However, due to accessibility concerns for users with low-contrast vision (and readability issues in general), please refrain from using Tennessee Orange as a color for running text on your website, in your emails, and in other digital communications.
If you need to check contrast for colored text, please consult an online tool such as Colorable.
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
- Understanding WCAG 2.0
- How to Meet WCAG 2.0
- WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
- WAI-ARIA Overview
- Notes on Using ARIA in HTML
- Accessible Information, Materials & Technology
- Office of Disability Services
- System Policy IT0126—Accessibility