Best Practices on EIT
The university has an obligation under existing law to provide equal access to our programs, activities, and services that are offered using EIT, and all users benefit from procedures to make documents and websites more clear and usable. This page sets out best practices for creating accessible electronic content.
In accordance with best practices, current legal precedent, and other guidance, the following should be applied to the creation of all information technology, including documents and websites:
- Does your document or website make sense when read by a screen reader?
- Can you navigate the document or website without use of a mouse?
- Did you provide alternative text description for all images, or English-language captioning for audio and video?
- Consider how the visuals used will be perceived by people with visual impairments. What will they miss and how can that be remediated?
- Is all content distinguishable? That is:
- Do you avoid using color as the sole distinguishing characteristic of a piece of content?
- Is there sufficient visual contrast between the foreground and background?
- Can the font size be changed without ruining the usability of the document or website?
- Are buttons and form controls clearly visible and easily targetable?
Since each of the above best practices addresses different situations, we have created a simple checklist that should be followed every time you create an electronic document for distribution to students, JHU faculty or staff, or the public at large. Each item on the checklist contains a link to a step-by-step visual guide that shows you how to achieve a “Yes” for that item in the checklist.
We have also provided a university-branded PowerPoint template that follows all the accessibility best practices itemized in the checklist.
Note: The checklist does not exhaustively cover all issues related to creating accessible documents. The checklist will change over time in response to community feedback.
The University also has a license to SensusAccess, a tool which can help convert existing documents into a variety of accessible formats, including Braille output. It can be used in conjunction with the checklist to convert a document into a variety of formats, but cannot make a document accessible if it does not follow the checklist.
Additionally, we have created an accessibility starter guide for those who build websites.