As a public university, our online information must be accessible to all visitors. As such, the University of Tennessee develops its central website, www.utk.edu, and its official website templates with an eye toward optimized accessibility. We strive be in compliance with Section 508 standards for web-based intranet and internet information and applications.
In past years, web accessibility at the university has largely been addressed through adherence 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.
In June 2015, the Office of Communications & Marketing’s web team issued a new set of web templates following WCAG 2.0 guidelines. In addition to following web coding best practices, the templates now include ARIA landmarks within the template HTML to provide an extra layer of accessibility for users and give campus units an accessible foundation upon which to build their individual sites.
The new web templates have been tested—and will continue to be tested—with users who rely on assistive technology to access the internet. Periodic updates will ensure that web accessibility remains a central focus of online campus communication. A listserv for campus web developers, designers, and content managers, UTWEBDEV, will be used as a central resource for sharing information about accessibility and other web development concerns.
Information on creating accessible websites will also be posted on this website. Central training for campus web developers and digital content managers will be available in the coming months.
Contact the university’s central team of web developers and designers at firstname.lastname@example.org.Download the new templates here.