Tip Sheets

Website Accessibility Guidelines

Blackbaud K12 Tip Sheets

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com September 2019 3 About Blackbaud Leading uniquely at the intersection point of technology and social good, Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. We serve the entire social good community, which includes nonprofits, foundations, companies, education institutions, healthcare organizations, and the individual change agents who support them. Explore Blackbaud School Website System Learn how Blackbaud School Website System was designed to meet the unique website criteria—from academic listings to athletic team schedules—of K–12 private schools Learn more 8 Avoid instructions that rely on sensory information. Instructions that rely solely on sensory information such as shape, color, size, visual location, orientation, or sound, present challenges for those with impairments. For example, writing "click on the link in the sidebar to the right" is misleading because screen readers are transcribing from the code, so they view the page in a single column. 9 Make sure the site is navigable. This guideline applies to individual pages and the content within. Each page should have more than one way to access it—the primary navigation menu and a search feature satisfy the guideline. Text links also help as long as the linked text describes the purpose of the link. For example, "Click here to learn about financial aid" should have the words "financial aid" included in the hyperlink. Avoid only linking the words "click here" or "learn more." Page titles and content headers also need to describe the underlying content (e.g., "Steps to Apply for Financial Aid" as a header). 10 Maintain predictability throughout the site. It's important to keep navigation menus and other repeated elements in a consistent location on page layouts. Likewise, standardize text alternatives for items with the same purpose or functionality—for example, the school logo should have the same ALT-text on each page. Also, don't underline text as users might think it is a link. As for the links, avoid having a repeated link description that points to different pages such as "read more" buttons on a list of news stories. Likewise, don't have links with different descriptions that go to the same place. A common example of this on school sites are "Students," "Parents," and "Faculty" links in the header that go to the same login. 11 Conduct a website accessibility audit. WC3 maintains a comprehensive list of free and paid tools to test for WCAG compliance. Since most schools have multiple people editing the website, it's a good idea to check for compliance periodically.

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