AGNR Groups

Web Groups for the College of Agriculture &
Natural Resources and Affiliates

Accessibility

If a blind person visited your website today, would they be able to find what they need? Would a deaf person be able to understand your videos? Would a quadriplegic person be able to interact with your content? These are the kinds of questions that drive our discussion of website accessibility.

At the University of Maryland, we follow a set of national accessibility standards: the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA. The WCAG states, "Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general."

Web accessibility is a huge – and sometimes daunting – topic. In this section of the AGNR Website Manual, we will not go into great depth about what accessibility is, but we will discuss a few best practices for things you can do right now to improve accessibility on your pages.

It is important to remember that, while many of these steps seem like something you can skip, we are required by law (specifically, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) to provide equal access to people with disabilities. And besides that, providing a better experience for every visitor is just a nice thing to do!

If you want to learn more about web accessibility in general or how it affects your work at the University of Maryland, please see the following resources.

For practical tips on ways to incorporate accessibility in your content, read on!