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 must complete the training by October 31, 2019, or their accounts will be suspended. 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 will be required. Beginning November 1, 2019, access to A&S websites will be granted only to individuals who have successfully completed this course within the last calendar year.

To register for the course, complete the online registration form. An eTech staff member will enroll you (assuming you’re eligible) and email you additional information within three business days.

Eligibility

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 information you provide in the course registration form.

If you are a staff member in the College, you may submit this course for three hours’ credit in the STAR program.

Course Structure

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 two to four 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.

Registration

To sign up for the A&S Web Accessibility Course, complete the registration form. You’ll be enrolled in the course within three business days after we receive your registration. Check your Blackboard page (ualearn.blackboard.com) to see whether the course shows up. If it doesn’t, email Lisa Yessick.

A&S Web Accessibility Course Registration

Again, if you don’t see the course listed on your Blackboard screen within three business days, email Lisa Yessick.

After Completing the Course

Here’s what to do next:

If you have a user account and access to a live A&S-hosted website:

After you pass the course, email eTech’s editorial director, Lisa Yessick (lisa.yessick@ua.edu), who will put you on the “passed” list. Your site access will not be suspended if you pass the course by October 31; if it is, email eTech’s web developer, Amy Garner (amy.garner@ua.edu), immediately.

If you need editing access to a recently or soon-to-be launched website:

After you pass the course, email eTech’s web developer, Amy Garner (amy.garner@ua.edu), to set up WordPress training tailored to the features and design of the website you’ll be editing and the functions you’ll perform within it.

If you have never had editing access to any of our sites:

After you pass the course, email eTech’s web developer, Amy Garner (amy.garner@ua.edu), to set up WordPress training tailored to the features and design of the website you’ll be editing and the functions you’ll perform within it.

If you have any questions about the course:

Email eTech’s editorial director, Lisa Yessick.

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.

More Information

Our Accessibility Better Practices page provides an overview of material covered in the course, with a few links to resources outside this site.

For links to accessibility resources and information about UA’s accessibility initiative, visit the Technology Accessibility group’s website.