From Web Development
George Mason University is committed to providing comparable access to all programs and services to people with disabilities. This includes access to electronic information and services. All official Mason web sites must meet Mason's web accessibility standards. These standards are based on the Web Accessibility Standards specified in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. If this is not possible, reasonable accommodations must be made to provide these services or materials in an alternative format in a timely manner to ensure compliance with federal laws.
The George Mason University web site is defined to include the university's home page (the top-level web page) and every web site that links directly from the home page (second-level web sites) unless the site is not on a university server or the site is licensed from a vendor. It also includes all the web sites that are designed by Web Communications in University Relations and other sites that are developed using the university web templates.
Mason Accessibility Standards
These standards are based on the Web Accessibility Standards outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- An alternate text description must be provided for any graphics, videos, animations, and other non-text elements on a web page.
- Audio and video must be captioned or transcripted for the hearing-impaired.
- Ensure that color contrast is adequate, and that color is not the only thing used to convey important information (for instance, required fields in a form cannot simply be marked in red; there would have to be an asterisk or some other type of indicator).
- Web sites must remain readable with CSS stylesheets disabled.
- Ensure that all functions of the page can be accessed using the keyboard alone.
- For data tables, properly markup row and column headers, and make sure data cells and header cells are properly associated.
- Form elements should make use of the label tag to properly associate the label and element.
- If you have lengthy navigation lists, provide a link that allows the user to skip over them.
- Image maps must be keyboard accessible and provide alternative text for each active region.
- Frames should be given titles that a descriptive and aid navigation.
- If a page requires a plugin or applet, such as Flash or PDF, the page should provide a download link to the plugin.
- Avoid flickering elements on a web page. They increase the risk of optically-induced seizures.
- When a timed response is required, be sure to alert the user, and allow sufficient time for the user to indicate more time is required.
- As an absolute last resort, an alternative text only site can be used. The text site MUST contain the same information as the non-text site.
For more information regarding the University's accessibility compliance plan, contact the University's ADA/EEO Program Specialist, University Equity Office, at 703-993-8730.
- WEBAIM Section 508 Checklist
- Web Accessibility - Section 508 Tutorial
- 100 Killer Web Accessibility Resources: Blogs, Forums and Tutorials
- Cynthia Says (Web)
- WAVE (Web)
- Fangs Screen Reader Emulator (Firefox Add-on - Windows / Mac / Linux)
- Firefox Accessibility Extension (Firefox Add-on - Windows / Mac / Linux)