Tip Sheets

Website Accessibility Guidelines

Blackbaud K12 Tip Sheets

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com September 2019 1 TIP SHEET Website Accessibility Guidelines for Private Schools BY DAREN WORCESTER, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Blackbaud K–12 Meeting website accessibility standards is essential for private schools in the United States and Canada. Compliance ensures that school websites are available to all potential applicants, and it avoids potential litigation and the associated legal fees and fines. While the laws and ramifications are currently a work in progress in both countries, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) is the universally accepted standard to follow. There are multiple versions of WCAG and three levels of compliance; however, most requirements in North America point to WCAG 2.0 AA Success Criteria as the standard to follow. Blackbaud School Website System TM meets the updated 2.1 AA guidelines, but full compliance also depends on whether the school is adhering to the accessibility standards within its website content. Adhering to the following tips will help make your school's website AA compliant. 1 Utilize ALT-text. Alternative text (ALT-text) is a description of an image that displays for people who can't see the image and are using a screen reader to translate the page. Most content management systems have a field for populating image ALT-text. In Blackbaud School Website System, ALT-text is populated by the image caption, or the title field if a caption isn't available. Alt-text should briefly describe the image in a way that is meaningful to someone who can't see the page, as well as utilize proper sentence punctuation. 2 Avoid embedding text in images. Don't embed text within website images or graphics because the text becomes unreadable on smaller devices such as phones. The one exception to this rule is when the image or graphic is essential to the school's branding, such as a logo or crest. Instead of embedding text in images, use cascading style sheets (CSS) to overlay text on top of images, which enables the text to reposition at mobile displays.

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