St. Edward's University is committed to ensuring that every member of our community has access to resources available on the web. The Office of Information Technology offers resources on creating accessible web content.
Each year, St. Edward's has the opportunity to serve as host for the AccessU conference, dedicated to teaching the principles of web accessibility. The Office of Information Technology works closely with Knowbility, the parent organization of that conference, to educate our own community about making technology accessible to people of all abilities. To do that, St. Edward's staff have created basic techniques for creating accessible websites and making course materials in Canvas accessible.
Why is web accessibility important?
- More than 50 million Americans and 750 million people worldwide have disabilities.
- Those numbers increase as the population ages. According to 2003 Census Bureau data, of the 76 million American "baby boomers," 1 in 4 over the age of 50 and 1 in 2 over the age of 65 have a disability.
- As such, we adhere both to federal and state government mandates, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Texas HB 2819.
- Universal design also helps with mobile views. Users of mobile devices face many of the same navigation challenges as users of assistive technology, like screen readers.
Disabilities affected by web design
VisualAbout 8.1 million Americans have difficulty seeing. These include those who are legally blind and have other visual disabilities, including low vision, macular degeneration, glaucoma and color blindness. Issues with using the web include complex page layouts, poor contrast, complex forms, images that convey information but are not available to screenreaders, missing headings and poor keyboard accessibility.
Motor/Physical ConditionsAn estimated 2.5 million Americans can't grasp or handle small objects due to paralysis, tremors, loss or damage of limb(s), cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. Issues with using the web include poor keyboard accessibility, timed responses and automatic page refreshes.
Auditory Hearing LossRoughly 7.6 million Americans have some form of hearing disability. Issues with using the web include music without transcripts for lyrics and video without captions.
Cognitive/Learning DisabilitiesCognitive Disabilities affect 4.9 percent of adults. Other disabilities include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), brain injuries and genetic disorders. Issues with using the web include complex page layouts, scrolling or flashing content, poor keyboard accessibility, complex forms and timed responses.
*Statistics are estimates and based on U.S. data. Sources: CDC Viral and Health Statistics Series, Disability Statistics from Cornell University
On-Campus ResourcesWe take web accessibility seriously at St. Edward's because we're committed to providing an inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff. And web accessibility is just one area on which we focus. Other resources on campus include:
- Student Disability Services provides information for faculty about accommodations in the classroom, student 504 Accommodation letters and other concerns.
- Student Disability Services also provides support for students with medical, learning or psychiatric disabilities.
- The university provides accommodations for students in the classroom, in their residence halls and while taking exams.