Accessibility Guidelines for Electronic Delivery of Information
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. UH has committed to guidelines issued by WCAG, found here: https://www.hawaii.edu/access/section-508/guidelines/
. These guidelines are written about webpage content, but also apply to electronic correspondence according to UH I.T.S.
In short – as it pertains to requests to forward information to the Students in our Department:
Email newsletters/announcements from the Department/UH/UH affiliated groups/others that are issued from a Departmental email should be made accessible at the time of creation or revision, prior to a request to the Department or a faculty member for sharing.
If a person or group requests information be forwarded to Department students – when the email is just text – it is already pretty accessible. However, if there are images, attachments, visual formatting (colors, bullets, numbering, extra spaces, etc.) these elements may not be inherently accessible (or may be problematic) for users of screen reading technology.
Currently Gmail does not allow for alt-text when inserting inline images. In this case, the instructor or requester should type out an image-description caption under the photo. Other things you can do to make email accessible include, using the list buttons when typing out numbered or bulleted lists and making sure that the font is readable. Announcements in HTML should also follow the same guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
At this time, the Department will not forward PDFs to our Department student lists. Please provide information in the format described above if you would like your request for sharing to be considered.
Sharing information through student email lists is regulated and limited to essential department announcements and sharing information that supports their degrees or courses of study.
Additionally and strictly from a Liability (not accessibility) standpoint:
Emails that are from third parties, especially with links to non-UH websites, should include a liability disclaimer: “Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience to you and are neither owned nor operated by UH. We have no control over these linked websites and make no representations or warranties with respect to these linked websites or third-party products or services. Your viewing and use of any third–party information is at your sole discretion and risk.”
More Information from ITS about UH’s accessibility directives: CLICK HERE