[Athen] essential criteria across all products

Kurkjian, Nazely Nazely.Kurkjian at suny.edu
Thu Apr 20 05:56:41 PDT 2017

I also need to develop "basic accessibility training" for a wide audience so this is very helpful, thank you Vanessa!! You saved me some time :)

I watched a webinar recently on this subject. Their success criteria for IT procurement is:

* Alt text on images
* Proper heading structure
* Labels on form fields
* Captions on videos
* Color not the sole means of communicating information
* Visible indication of keyboard focus
If anyone has anything they think I should add, please share. If anyone has items they require vendor to demonstrate, that would also be helpful.


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Preast, Vanessa
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:53 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] essential criteria across all products


Not sure if this is useful for your purpose, but I figured I'd share just in case.

For a "basic accessibility training" at our institution, I selected 10 "accessibility principles" that seemed like they'd work across most digital platforms a user would interact with directly (word and powerpoint files, PDFs, web, LMS) in our environment. I did this to meet the request for a "universal" training that would be relevant for the widest possible audience. Our advanced training goes into many more specifics, especially where the tool makes a difference.

This list is still in draft format, so please feel free to share any issues you see with it.

Table: The 10 "Basic Accessibility Principles"



Why is this Important?


* Require only accessible software and applications.

* Follow the digital accessibility standards in this handbook

* Allow different ways to accomplish the end goal

* Provide multiple formats

Accessible technology can be used as effectively by people with disabilities as by those without. Accessible technologies allow users to interact with the system or content in a way that meets their needs. Inaccessible software and applications are barriers to users with disabilities. Contact IT or the Digital Accessibility Specialist to test your software.

Color contrast

Use sufficient color contrast.

Without sufficient color contrast between font and background, people who are color blind and low vision will not benefit from the information. Using color alone to convey meaning will leave those who are color blind or blind unable to interpret the meaning.

Color for meaning

Pair color with another indicator when using color for meaning.

Avoid color alone to convey meaning because people who cannot differentiate colors (colorblindness or printing in greyscale) will miss out on content.


Use properly formatted headings to structure a page.

Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings help people to quickly navigate the content. In Word, headings and styles make it easy to create a Table of Contents or quickly change the appearance throughout the document.

Hyperlink text

Write meaningful link text.

Links embedded in text should describe the link's destination. This helps all users navigate more efficiently, especially screen reader users.

Images of text

* Write text directly in the document, not in an image

* Use high-resolution images

* Use alternative text

Some people may miss important content is written within an image. When zooming 200%, the text could become blurry. Images may not show up in some cases, making the information completely unavailable to some users. Text within images requires special software to edit.

Alternative text (alt text)

* Concisely describe the content and function of non-text content (images, graphs, etc.)

Alt text is read by screen readers which allows persons with visual or cognitive disabilities to access the content and function of the image. Alt text displays in place of the image in browsers or email if the image is not loaded.

Video & Audio

* Caption all videos you create for an entire group.

* Provide transcripts for audio recordings.

* Choose videos which already have accurate captions.

* Do not rely on auto-caption

* Accurate video captions benefit many viewers. Captions are essential for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, but they also aid in comprehension for non-native English speakers, those who are unfamiliar with vocabulary, viewers with some learning disabilities, or viewers in a noisy environments.

* Audio transcripts are essential for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, but they also assist anyone who would like to read or search the transcript.

* Auto-caption features in video systems can produce errors which may be embarrassing for instructors or confusing to viewers. Proofread all captions.


* The text size and font type are easily readable.

* The content is written concisely with minimal jargon

* Avoid sensory instructions

* Large enough text and legible fonts help everyone see the content.

* Writing clearly and simply enhances learning. Unclear or confusing writing is a barrier for everyone. Unclear or illegible writing can increase difficulty for people with low vision, reading disorders or cognitive disabilities.

* Relying only on sensory instructions, such as the "red button" or the "bar in the upper left" are meaningless to some people with disabilities. Using non-sensory cues is more inclusive. For example, use the "red start button" or the "page navigation bar in the upper left".


* Design clear and consistent navigation

* Use meaningful names for files and document titles

Clear and consistent navigation in your course will allow viewers to focus on your content rather than on how to find it. Meaningful file names and titles help your audience find their files quickly.

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kurkjian, Nazely
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:04 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] essential criteria across all products

Good afternoon,

I'm developing a process for accessible technology acquisitions. Have you identified accessibility criteria that is essential across all products? Something like "accessible via keyboard alone" or "images have alt text". I'm trying to find items in 508/WCAG AA that are absolutely essential across the board. We'd like to mandate these criteria in RFP.

Also, do you have certain criterion for specific types of products? Example: All audio-visual products and services must have ability to caption.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,


Nazely Kurkjian (she, her, hers)
Coordinator of Disability, Diversity, and Nontraditional Student Services
The State University of New York
State University Plaza - Albany, New York 12246
Tel: 518.445.4078 Fax: 518.320.1557
Be a part of Generation SUNY: Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/generationsuny> - Twitter<http://www.twitter.com/SUNY> - YouTube<http://www.youtube.com/generationsuny>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170420/e4767f0f/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 1979 bytes
Desc: image001.gif
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20170420/e4767f0f/attachment.gif>

More information about the athen-list mailing list