Accessibility on the IT Website
Northwestern Information Technology (IT) is committed to meeting the ethical and legal obligations that the University has in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state law.
To meet this commitment, Northwestern IT follows guidelines to provide a functional, accessible, and interactive website with equal access to information, materials, and services for all web users at Northwestern University, regardless of ability.
These web guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Websites and applications that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with;
- Web browsers and media players that can be used effectively by people with disabilities, and that work well with assistive technologies that some people with disabilities use to access the web;
- Web authoring tools and evolving web technologies that support the production of accessible web content and websites and that can be used effectively by people with disabilities.
While the Northwestern IT website strives to comply with the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas. Content that is two years or older, some documents such as PDF versions of brochures, and web pages that use video or audio may not have been updated with accessibility features.
Contact the IT Support Center for assistance with particular content on a web page or when encountering any other inaccessible documents on the Northwestern IT website.
How to Use Web Accessibility Features
Northwestern IT has implemented a range of accessibility features, which have been developed in consultation with industry experts and disabled users.
Listing Headings and Links: The most important content is at the beginning of the web page and web content is structured with headings and meaningful HTML code. This allows users to create lists of headings or links to skim the page if using a screen reader and helps assistive devices to understand and process the content. Northwestern IT also uses web Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) landmarks to assist with screen reader navigation.
Using the Keyboard: Pressing the Tab key after a page has loaded provides skip links to the main navigation and content area. Most elements which are clickable are outlined when accessed using the Tab key.
Access keys are not defined to avoid interference with key combinations already defined by an assistive device.
Explaining content: On the majority of web pages on the Northwestern IT website, brief descriptions are attached to each image which can be easily read by a screen reader or if the user has chosen to turn off images.
When a screen reader comes across content which is visually grouped together, or content which uses icons or other images, additional text is made available to screen readers to explain the content or images.
Last Updated: 27 April 2017Get Help Back to top