Web Accessibility in the CMS

Web accessibility is important.  Besides the fact that it is a federal requirement, you never want to limit your audience.  Taking the proper steps to ensure that you do not exclude anyone with a disability from being able to access your website would be the difference between a success and a failure.

CMS users may have noticed that if you weren’t using the Title field in your Random Image, that you’re now getting error messages in author because of it.  We’ve been trying to think of a way to more proactively insert descriptive alt text to meet federal accessibility guidelines.  Up until last week, alt text in the Random Image component was entered on a per use basis.   We’ve altered the component to pull the Title of the image from the Digital Asset Manager to serve as the alt text.  This makes it easier on the user, so you only have to enter that text once, and not every time that image is used.  (Please note that alt text should be content equivalent to the image.  For example, if you have an photo of Evans Hall, acceptable alt text could be “Image of Evans Hall”).

Starting next week, this change will be moving to the live sites as well.  If you’re using the random image component on your site, make sure you’ve either

  1. Entered a descriptive title to the image within the Random Image component on your page and then re-activated your page,
  2. Added the descriptive Title to the image itself in the Digital Asset Manager and reactivated that image.

Once the component is moved to the live sites, and there is no alt text/Title on those activated images, there will be a big ugly red error on your page. Please plan accordingly.

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