Rhode Island College is committed to making its website accessible using best practices and standards as defined by level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Should any user have difficulty accessing the content of this site or have accessibility concerns, please contact the Office of Web Communications at 401-456-8849 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rhode Island College is committed to making our web presence accessible and inclusive by taking reasonable measures to support the accessibility of its digital resources, including its websites, to students, employees and/or the general public in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This Web Accessibility Policy provides information and guidelines regarding the College's efforts to make its websites accessible; and outlines the process by which individuals may seek assistance with website accessibility issues.
- Interactive WCAG
- WAVE evaluation tool (Google Chrome extension)
- Web Accessibility Checker
- US Access Board
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
Website Task Force
Strategy and Planning
- Review (and revise, as necessary) policies and procedures designed to address all new online content and functionality
- Set up a system to review and ensure the accessibility of its critical and highly utilized online content
- Develop a process to ensure that, upon request, inaccessible content will be made accessible in an expedient manner and consistent with the terms of this agreement, and
- Develop and deliver website accessibility training.
- Jon Bartelson, Chief Information Officer, Co-Chair
- Kimberly Conway Dumpson, Vice President for College Advancement and External Relations, Co-Chair
- George Ladd, Professor, Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences
- Bonnie MacDonald, Professor, Communications, School of Arts and Sciences
- Tamika Wordlow-Williams, AVP, Student Success
- Keri Rossi-D-entremont, Assistant Dean of Students, Accessibility & Inclusion
- Karen Rubino, Director of Web Communications
- John Taraborelli, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
- Anna Cano-Morales, AVP Community, Equity and Diversity
- Clark Greene, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives
- Christine Marco, Teaching and Learning
- Erik Christiansen, Associate Professor, History
- Nick Dwyer, Undergraduate Honors student
- Robert Franzblau, Professor, Music, Theatre and Dance
Checklist for Content Editors
This checklist was written by OHO Interactive.
Emphasize Plain Language
- Strive for brevity and clarity
- Simple word choices, not bulky phrasing (e.g. “because” not “due to the fact that”)
- Aim for short sentences and paragraphs without compromising meaning; aim for one concept per sentence and one broader concept per paragraph.
- For complex or lengthy text such as disclosures, disclaimers, and instructions, write as concisely and clearly as possible, creating a hierarchy that distinguishes this content from other content on the page.
- Avoid jargon, slang, acronyms, pedagogical terms, unnecessarily technical language, and internal-facing process language
- Maintain no higher than Grade 10 readability level
- Use tools such as Hemingway to assess the readability of your content
- Avoid hackneyed phrases and idioms (“Get your ducks in a row”; “Bang for your buck”; “Get the ball rolling”) - readers from other cultures may not be familiar with their meaning
- Avoid unnecessary use of superlatives and adjectives (e.g. our exemplary research facilities) as well as hyperbole or unsupported claims (e.g. we have the most successful students) that may weigh down your language. Instead, let the qualities of these features speak for themselves with facts, data, or rich, descriptive imagery.
- Avoid repetition. It often serves to obscure your point, rather than reinforce it
- Use terms consistently across your publication to reinforce comprehension
Create Content Inclusively
- Avoid directional language (e.g. read below, see above, the menu to the left) when referring to on-page content
- Page layout should make content references intuitive
- Such references are irrelevant to individuals using screen readers or other alternative methods of reading a webpage
- Due to responsive design, “on the right” in one context may be “below” in another
- Always use alt text for images to allow non-sighted users using “talking” browsers, as well
- as users on slow connections, to glean meaning from image content
- Describe what is happening in the image (e.g. “Students studying in a library”)
- Alt text has the bonus of being searchable, enhancing SEO
- Do not rely solely on visual or audio communication (imagery, shape, size, sound) to communicate information that is critical to comprehending content.
- Avoid PDFs where possible.
- HTML header tags help create hierarchies by organizing, prioritizing, and labeling content. Use headers with clear, descriptive language to break up text and guide readers scanning the page.
- Make links descriptive and actionable (e.g. "Apply now"; "View event calendar”)
- The words “click here” have no value for search engines, or for users
- Use keywords in linked text as long as they do not compromise meaning or clarity
- Indicate document type if link goes to a non-HTML page (e.g. Read the manual [PDF])
- Don’t clutter text with inessential hyperlinks, as they will distract the user
- Linking in body text should not replicate page navigation
Consider Web Page Structure
- Use simple URL structures; 3-5 words
- Use descriptive, relevant keywords that give context to both search engines and users
- Use hyphens instead of underscores
- Unique copy that describes the content found on your page
- Maximum of 150-160 characters
- Strong meta descriptions can boost traffic from search engine result pages (SERPs)
- Echo keywords used in the title; balance keywords with compelling, descriptive language so both humans and machines can make sense of information
- Avoid quotes; stick to alpha-numeric characters
- Defines title of a web document; should be unique with a consistent format site-wide
- Less than 70 characters
- Shows in Google search results and browser title bar (also default text for bookmark)
- Use meaningful words; avoid vague acronyms with no first reference or context (e.g. “MCM” for Master of Contemporary Music) that may alienate or confuse both the user and search engines, unless acronym is commonly understood by target audience (e.g. MBA)
- Echo keywords used in meta description. Balance use of keywords with compelling, descriptive language so both humans and machines can make sense of information
- Place keywords near front of title (Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name)