Accessibility

Navigating the Web is often difficult for users with unique challenges. Mount Holyoke College strives to meet the needs of all visitors to MHC websites. To provide maximum access for MHC Web visitors, accessibility solutions have been built into the College Web design and templates. MHC does its best to follow accessibility guidelines provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative and the USA Rehabilitation Act. The College Web design is tested on a wide range of Web browsers for accessibility. Accessibility guidelines, such as those listed below, are included in College Web development training and workshops.

Links

Make sure that all links are understandable. Use text that makes sense when read out of context. To avoid confusing your visitors, use key words such as the title that appears on the page you direct/link them. Do not spell out the URL and then hyperlink the URL. For example:

  • Do this: It is highly recommended that you visit the First-Year Guide for advice on course selection.
  • Don't do this: Click here to go to the First Year Guide for advice on course selection.
  • With caution and good reason only, do this: Go to the First-Year Curriculum Guide website at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/firstyear/ for advice on course selection.

Images

Provide an alternate description for all images. It is important to provide a text equivalent for every non text element (e.g., via "ALT" tags). Avoid irrelevant alternate text for images that format a page, for instance, "gold box" would be inappropriate for an image that adds a gold box that is decorative for a heading or paragraph.

Color

Web pages should not rely on color to convey information. For example, do not instruct a Web user to click on the “red arrow” to navigate a page. Some users are red-green colorblind and will not get your message unless you spell it out. Avoid using color combinations that would not reproduce well in black-and-white print.

Large Pages

On long documents, provide a list of “quick links” at the top of the page. The quick list should include titles and link directly to the text lower on the page.

Page Titles

All Web pages should have meaningful page titles, which are specific to the page itself. Here are a few reasons this is important:

  1. The page title is what appears when a Web page is book marked; unique titles make bookmarks more efficient.
  2. Search results are difficult to differentiate if several pages have the same page title.

Audio/Visual Features for Accessibility

All official College audio and video files must:

  1. provide descriptive passages about speakers and events being shown with video or audio clips;
  2. inform the user of the file format and file size in kilobytes when linking to an audio or video file;
  3. include text transcriptions of video or audio clips;
  4. if possible include captions or text tracts with a description or sounds of the movie.

Flash, Animations, Etc.

Due to accessibility issues, the College does not support Flash, animations, or objects that require plug-ins or JavaScript. If your site incorporates Flash or animations, please obtain approval from the Web Strategy Team.

Frames

We do not allow creating MHC websites in frames due to accessibility issues.

Accessibility Resources