California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) seeks to provide universal access to official pages on its Web site through compliance with Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, and the international World-Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
The advantages of universal Web accessibility go beyond legal requirements and the usefulness of a Web site to people with disabilities. Applying universal design concepts to a Web site make it accessible to all site visitors, including those visiting with graphics turned off or with mobile devices. Further, universal design concepts ordinarily lead to clean code and enhanced cross-browser compatibility. CSUDH seeks to provide universal access to official pages on its Web site and encourages compliance to standards by unofficial pages residing on its Web server.
Making Web pages accessible for many disabilities is accomplished by designing pages that allow the effective use of adaptive technologies to access their content. These technologies include:
Some universal design is not related to adaptive technologies. For example, the use of simple, straight-forward language on a Web site assists all site visitors, including persons for whom English is not the first language and persons with cognitive disabilities. Flickering images on Web sites can trigger seizures in some site visitors. When color is used to distinguish between choices on a Web page, color-blind viewers may find the choices inaccessible.
The 16 properties of universal design are listed in the U.S. Government's Section 508, § 1194.22. Following the rules will yield Web pages that are almost universally accessible.
In addition to Section 508’s 16 rules, designers of official CSUDH Web pages should:
WebXACT checks for both W3C/WAI and Section 508 compliance. At CSUDH, compliant Web pages must satisfy all of the W3C/WAI Priority 1 checkpoints and should seek to comply with all of the W3C/WAI Priority 2 checkpoints.