University Career Center

Accessibility HW - Jennifer Gorski




The University Career Center’s website is a vital tool for students seeking employment. Some of the features include improving your resume, searching and applying for job openings, and viewing upcoming events. In addition to helping students, the site also offers resources for alumni, employers, parents, and faculty. With such a vast audience, it is important that the site is accessible. By following the WCAG principles, I found that it includes many components that pertain to each of the four guidelines: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Below, I go into more depth regarding each of these principles, and show that this website is accessible to a wide range of people.

Perceivable - Complete

One of the main functional elements of the website is the header bar with links to the sub-pages. While a picture is used for each option, the link title is featured below the image and used as the alt text. The left navigation bar logos and images throughout the page feature alt texts as well. The content is also presented in a clean, consistent way. Each section has a title that is distinguishable and, below the heading, the main information is bolded with supporting information underneath. The smallest font size used is 12px and the text is still clear when zooming to 200%.

Operable - Complete

The Career Center’s main page is fully operable with the keyboard and does not feature any keyboard traps. The sub-pages, however, feature a different layout and use an expanding menu which is not fully operable using the keyboard. Nonetheless, when you select one of the pages, the content that should be present in the menu is listed on the page, so it is still navigable. The sub-pages also have an index at the top of the page to help the user determine where they are and the site also does not feature any time limits or flashes that may induce seizures.

Understandable - Partial Implementation

The website features the standard layout that is understandable and predictable for users. However, the main page uses a different layout then its sub-pages which could lead to some confusion. Each page also includes a substantial amount of information that can be overwhelming. I am not sure if the site features a way to skip over sections when using the keyboard. If this is not available, someone looking at the student resource page would have to tab through over 60 links in the body alone to see what is available.

Robust - Partial Implementation

The website is written in HTML, allowing the site to be seen on many platforms and the content to be parsed. The only problem I noticed was that the main page does not use header tags for the section titles. Through the Firefox add-on Fang, it became apparent that parsers can separate sections according to headers. By not including these tags, the body is read as one long section instead of following the more organized layout displayed.