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Designing Accessible Web Sites

Most of us assume that visitors to our Web pages can see the wonderful graphics we include. However, many users are visually impaired and use special programs to read text to them. Also, those who are color-blind might have problems navigating your site if you rely on color to convey information. Still other users are unable to use a mouse or may use a text-based Web browser called lynx, which has no pictures and uses the keyboard for navigation rather than a mouse. Accessible design helps students, faculty and staff with disabilities understand and use Web-based class materials more effectively as well.

State and Federal laws require accessible web sites. Effective September 1, 2005, Texas House Bill 2819 requires state agencies to develop, procure, maintain and use electronic and information technology that is accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.

The University of Texas at Austin has published the UT Web Accessibility Policy, which sets Texas Administrative Code 206.70 as the accessibility standard.

The UT System policy is UTS150 - Access by Persons with Disabilities to Electronic and Information Resources Procured or Developed by The University of Texas System Administration and The University Of Texas System Institutions.

  Updated 2011 March 29
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