Beginning in fall 2019, all faculty, staff, and students who seek editing access to websites hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) will be required to complete A&S-specific training in web accessibility. This training will be delivered via the A&S Web Accessibility Course, an online, self-directed course available through Blackboard.
Those who already have editing access to live sites but haven’t completed the training must do so to have their accounts restored. Those who want access to newly redesigned sites, or who are new to editing our websites, must complete the accessibility course before they receive WordPress training and user accounts from eTech. This policy applies to all websites hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences — including but not limited to department, program, center/institute, and research sites as well as course blogs and sites built as part of a class.
Because accessibility requirements change as technology and software change, annual re-certification may be required. Access to A&S websites will be granted only to individuals who have successfully completed this course within the last calendar year.
Any faculty member, staff member, or student who edits any portion of an A&S-hosted website is eligible to enroll in this course. Eligibility is based on the information you provide in the course registration form.
To register for the course, complete the online registration form. An eTech staff member will enroll you (assuming you’re eligible) within three business days. Enrollment usually happens sooner, so log into Blackboard (ualearn.blackboard.com) to look for the course. Once it appears in your “My Courses” list, you’re ready to start completing modules.
If the course doesn’t appear in Blackboard after three business days, email Jessica Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The course consists of seven modules. Each module contains materials such as articles, graphics, and short videos.
We estimate that the entire course will take 1.5 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your prior accessibility knowledge and how quickly you work. You can complete the course in one sitting or one module at a time.
At the end of each module, a short, open-book/note quiz tests your understanding of the material. A score of at least 80% on each quiz is required. You may take each quiz twice.
After Completing the Course
Once you’ve completed the course, here’s what to do:
- If you already have a user account and access to an A&S-hosted website, email eTech’s manager of digital content, Jessica Porter (email@example.com), who will verify that you’ve passed the course.
- If your website is being redesigned by eTech or you’re new to editing an A&S website, set up WordPress training specifically tailored to your specific website and editing role.
If you are a staff member in the College, you may submit this course for three hours of credit in the STAR program.
Why We’re Doing This
Web accessibility is a top priority at The University of Alabama, as universities nationwide prepare for an audit by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights beginning in fall 2019.
Divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences whose websites were developed by eTech can be assured that their sites were built using accessible themes with content that was made accessible prior to launch (with any exceptions flagged for the site owners’ immediate attention). So that these websites remain accessible, training in basic accessibility practices is required of anyone who will have administrative access to A&S-hosted websites.
The primary purpose of this course is to ensure that anyone who edits an A&S website understands two things:
- the importance of maintaining accessible websites
- the basic practices involved in producing and posting accessible content
A secondary purpose is to provide the College with a means of demonstrating that its content editors and site owners have that understanding.