Web Accessibility

As a state entity, the University of Illinois at Chicago must provide accessible web content to those with disabilities. Public Act 095-0307 (effective August 20, 2007) cites state guidelines by which to measure web accessibility: the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Implementation Guidelines for Web-Based Information and Applications 1.0, also known as the IITAA. The IITAA, Illinois’s official web accessibility guide, supersedes federal accessibility requirements by incorporating Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘794 d) and WCAG web standards.

What does this mean?

Generally speaking, any website created for UIC (whether on Publish or other platforms) must be accessible to those with disabilities. Publish’s official UIC WordPress theme is designed to meet state web standards, but you and your content managers, editors, writers, etc. must create accessible content.

How do I check for web accessibility compliance?

These tools are free and highly recommended. Please note: use of these tools does not guarantee full IITAA compliance.

Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE): automated tool developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Checks websites against many IITAA guidelines.

WAVE: automated tool developed by WebAIM. GUI-based, useful for tag evaluation.

NVDA: free, open source screen reader for Windows.

What else should I know?

The aforementioned tools (FAE and WAVE) do not check against all IITAA guidelines. Depending on the nature of your site, manual code inspection may be required.

Also, a few tips to help with general accessibility: 

  • Use descriptive ALT attributes for all images.
  • Caption all videos (YouTube’s caption creator is quite good).
  • Don’t put Word documents or PDFs online. For the sake of all your visitors, post the content in html instead.

Help! I don’t understand any of this

If you require assistance, please contact the Digital Accessibility Committee at UIC.