Accessibility Standards and Efforts
- Access Keys
- Using Access Keys
- Accesibility Utility/Icons
- Cookies and Settings Defaults
- Supported Browsers
- General Information
- Section 508 Compliance
- Page design
- More information about accessible sites
After far too much debate, and effort, we have finally concluded that the economic costs versus the benefits of attempting true "cross-browser" accessibility for "all" browsers cannot be justified. See our list of supported browsers. If you wish to examine some of the issues faced in providing full accessibility in other browsers, see our "try 1" version of this accessibility page.
Be aware that this Accessibility statement is written fairly generically to apply across all International Studies and Programs (ISP) websites and for any other websites that are put within that standardized framework. That framework is being developed and deployed as rapidly as possible though finalization for some 40+ sites is not anticipated until sometime in 2011. As user benefits you will get some consistent features across ISP (and related) websites plus see new features instantly across all websites within the framework.
We are continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. In the meantime should you experience any difficulty in accessing the *Website Name* website, please don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
|0||Accesibility||Brings you to the accesibility page|
|1||Home||Brings you to home page|
|2||Skip to Content||Skips the header and Navigation links, focusing the browser on the begining of the pages content|
|4||Search||Places Cursor in the search field|
|5||Bold Links||Turn on (or off) content area Bolding of Links (and focus/active link highlighting)|
|6||Site Map||Brings you to the site map|
|7||Main Menu||Place cursor on main navigation|
|8||Contact||Brings you to contact page and info|
|9||Footer Menu||Skip to footer menu|
Access keys were introduced with the HTML 4.0 recommendations, which include the "accesskey" attribute for links. Because there is no standard way of using access keys, the following table shows how they are implemented in various web browsers and operating systems:
|Using Access Keys|
|Browser||How to use|
|Alt+AccessKey, then Enter to activate.
For example: To get to the home page, hold down Alt+1 and then press Enter.
|FireFox||Alt+Shift+AccessKey, then Enter to activate.
For example: To get to the home page, hold down Alt+Shift+1 and then press Enter.
|Browser||How to use|
For example: To get to the IS&T Home page, hold down Control+2.
Note: Some systems may require users to hold down Control+Command+AccessKey. Others may require users to click on the page first.
The following browser versions do not support access keys:
- Netscape 4 and Opera 6 for Windows;
- Internet Explorer 4.x, Mozilla, Netscape 4, and Opera 5 for Mac OS 9;
- Mozilla, OmniWeb 4, and Safari for Mac OS X 10.
A cookie is set up when you click the "remember" (elephant) icon (see below for more information). This cookie saves your current accessibility settings. To restore settings to the default click: Restore Default Settings. If your browser settings prohibit cookies you will always get the default page settings regardless though you can apply settings you want for each page you display.
- Internet Explorer v6
- Firefox (mac and windows)
All of the MSU Accessibility Section I: Required Checkpoints and most of the Section II: Recommended Checkpoints are met by the default settings. All those checkpoints are met when the additional interactive accessibility features are turned on by using ALT-I. How the Access Keys, AKA ALT-keys, work is browser specific as described below.
And a word about tab stops, known as tabindexes in HTML parlance. Windows Firefox and Internet Explorer have a \"natural\" tab sequence that moves the user through clickable links and form fields in the sequence in which they appear in the physical document. Unfortunately once you code in one tabindex you practically must put them all in since valid landing places without tabindexes always follow those with. Therefore our pages or forms are completely created and laid out so that \"natural\" tab order works - if, of course, each form developer adheres to the rules. If you find a form that doesn't follow the rules, let us know at email@example.com.
You may gather from all this that browser builders, not web page developers, have a long way to go to get any real semblance of consistent and useable accessibility. Anyone, even a browser developer, is welcome to email the ISP Web Development team (firstname.lastname@example.org) with links or well written instructions on how specifically to implement accessibility features for specific browsers. Whether the information is for users to set up options in a browser or for us to do additional (but not ridiculous) development any feedback is welcome.
All pages are coded in XHTML 1.0 Transitional. The mark-up is mainly used for semantic purposes, and is in in compliance with the standards of this language. To support the widest range of browsers we do, however, occasionally use a table structure for layout purposes. We use the smallest table structure necessary to achieve the visual objective and clearly summarize the purpose. Such table structures will read row (by row) across columns exactly as if the contents were in a list, i.e., they will linearize correctly. Most visual presentation is implemented with Cascading Style Sheets.
- MSU Web Accessibility Information
- The Michigan State University web accessibility guidelines and related pages.
- Dive Into Accessibility
- An online book written and maintained by accessibility expert Mark Pilgrim. An excellent place to start.
- The U.S. Access Board
- A Federal agency devoted to accessibility. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is the work of this board.
- Web Accessibility Initiative
An initiative of the World Wide Web consortium, the purpose of which is to pursue
accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.
2More on Mac Firefox: You may wish to examine an Accessibility Extension for Firefox available at http://firefox.cita.uiuc.edu/index.php. Extension Add-ons for Firefox are user login specific. And, what's worse, for a multiple user Mac, Firefox may NOT update for individual users, only for the original user that installed it though the other users will use the new version on their next login. At least that is my experience. For the non-initial installer, the Firefox update process does go through all the motions and appears to have completed correctly however, once the user closes Firefox and reopens it, whatever old version the initial installer last did will be what the user gets, not the "just installed" version. I have no idea what the implications are for "automatic updates" of the Accessibility Extension given that the extension install IS login user specific, an install to the initial installer's login--again, at least in my limited experience--DOES NOT become visible to other individual login users. (Without "All Controls" checked, an access key that is to take you to the start of a menu takes you there visually but then there is no way whatsoever to move into and through the menu. Neither TAB nor OPTION-TAB get you into the page or its content. It may help some if you have checked the Firefox Preferences > Advanced > General > "Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages" check box but you'll need to push the up and/or then down key several times to finally land somewhere that you can then see where you are and even then it will help tremendously if you have turned on the ISP bolded links feature.)