Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance with Finalsite

Overview

"Accessibility" refers to making web content available to all users, regardless of how they interact with a computer. While a standard website may work just dandy for a user whose vision and mobility are unimpaired, users with disabilities (including vision, hearing or mobility impairments that could make using a mouse or keyboard more difficult) could have a harder time viewing you web content.

Finalsite works to make content on our platform available to all users, regardless of how they interact with our sites. Some aspects of full ADA compliance depend on content updates performed by site admins and site users, however.

Making your Website Compliant on the Finalsite Platform

Finalsite is a content management system that includes both static and dynamic content elements. Because content changes take place frequently on our platform, Finalsite cannot guarantee that all content and the sites containing them will be 100% compliant at all times. Content and Web Editors should recognize that automatically-generated content must be proofed and, if necessary, manually edited in order to ensure that the public-facing website adheres to strict compliant formatting.

Tools

Checklist:

When editing content, editors can use the checklist for WCAG20 to ensure that the content added meets the accessibility guidelines. 

Page Accessibility Testing:

There are many tools available online that test websites for compatibility. To list a few:

Standards Overview

The standards for ensuring content is visible to all users are known as the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines;" they're put out by the World Wide Web Consortium, and can be found here: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/. Finalsite as a platform conforms to most or all of these guidelines - again, depending on the specific implementation on each individual website and the dynamic content displayed on it at any given moment.

1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

All pages with content added by school admins are text based; there are certain parts of your pages however that may, for design continuity, have text that is in an image format. As long as this is purely aesthetic, this will not reduce the amount of information available to anyone.

1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.

This criteria has to be met by the school; any media that is provided on the website should have transcripts and accompanying files where necessary. A speaker that is recorded should also have a transcript of the presentation as an alternative.

1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.

This is difficult to answer consistently for all sites. Finalsite uses CSS to format pages; depending on your website, information and structure will remain consistent and flow from left to right, top to bottom. Only responsive sites at this time however will scale and be truly adaptable to users on various screen sizes and at various levels of magnification (all Composer-based sites are fully responsive). All headings and text will be readable through a reader, and content-formatting tools like bulleted lists are available to help format text on pages.

1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

Again, this is going to depend on the specific design of an individual site or page. For the most part though, distinguishing between foreground and background elements is done as a matter of course, as that's a solid tip for building a website for any audience.

2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

Yes, this is possible with Finalsite - this is largely a function of the browser used to view a website, and all major browsers support keyboard shortcuts.

2.2 Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content.

We put no time limits on user visits, nor does Finalsite have the ability to time how long a user stays on a page. Users can pause and restart video and audio content.

2.3 Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

Finalsite would not design content that causes seizures (we do try to avoid injuring our partners and their users, it's just good business). This means avoiding strobing effects of quickly alternating colors, which can be "epileptogenic," and not using flashing text. (Nobody wants to see that anyway, which makes this an easy requirement to meet. --Ed.)

2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

All of our websites stay consistent with their navigation. The Content Management System that we designed has certain requirements to ensure that certain navigation elements stay the same throughout the site.

3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.

This section is more specific in relation to what text you have displaying where, and if you are "Avoiding unusual foreign words." So this one is again more up to the content creators at individual sites than Finalsite.

3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

Finalsite will always try to design websites that operate consistently and appear uniform. With so many browsers, each with so many nuances, it is possible that from time to time there will be some abnormalities when viewing certain pages. We work to identify these inconsistencies and rectify them as quickly as possible.

3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

This really only comes into play when using Forms Manager or Registration Manager, as those are the modules which rely most heavily on input from users. You can use the Validation and Required Fields tools to ensure compliance with these guidelines.

4.1 Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

As mentioned earlier, Finalsite will always try to design websites that operate consistently and appear uniform. If there are compatibility problems with software, we will try to solve them in a timely fashion. We will always use technology that is tried and tested, and will stay current within the industry.

If you do experience any problems with anything above, we will always help you in any way we can; just send us a ticket and we can look into it further for you.

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