Accessibility

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Accessibility

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The University of the Sunshine Coast is committed to delivering an online experience that is as accessible as possible for the widest range of visitors, including those using adaptive and assistive technologies.

The University is striving for at least AA compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) but acknowledges that some content may not yet meet the requirements for AA compliance.

WCAG 2.0 uses a three-level rating system to identify the level of accessibility. In WCAG 2.0, level Single A (A) is the basic, moving through Double A (AA) and Triple A (AAA). Even at Triple A conformance, some users will still experience some difficulty in accessing content.

If you are unable to access information or services on the USC domain, please email website@usc.edu.au and let us know:

  • The URL of the page or resource
  • The problems you are experiencing
  • The browser and operating system you are using
  • Any adaptive or assistive technologies you are using

Accessibility is a complex area, and we openly acknowledge that we do not always get it right—we appreciate your feedback as it helps us deliver a more useable website for all visitors.

More information

WCAG 2.0 AA compliance—what does it mean?

To meet WCAG 2.0 AA levels, the USC website:

  • Provides text alternatives for any non-text content
    • Images, multimedia and form items have appropriate, equivalent alternative text, with explanations of complex images provided in context or on a separate page. Images that do not convey content, are decorative or contain content already contained in the text are given a null alt text value (alt=’’).
  • Provides alternatives for time-based media (audio and video)
    • Text transcripts and synchronised captions are provided for all live and pre-recorded audio and / or video. Audio descriptions are provided for video only where the visual content is not also conveyed in the audio track.
  • Comprises content that can be presented in different ways without losing information or structure
    • Semantic markup is used to designate headings, lists and emphasized text, with tables used only to convey tabular information. Tables include header rows, captions and summaries where appropriate.
    • The reading and navigational order of the page is logical and intuitive.
    • Instructions do not rely on shape, colour, size or sound.
  • Makes it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background
    • Colour is not used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing elements. Colour alone is not used to distinguish links from surrounding text—links provide an additional differentiation (underline).
    • Text and images of text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, with large text (larger than 18 point or 14 point bold) has a contrast ratio of 3:1.
    • Pages are readable and functional when the text size is doubled.
    • Images are not used in place of text where the same information can be conveyed using text alone.
  • Allows access to all content using keyboard-only navigation
    • All page functionality is available using the keyboard, unless the functionality cannot be delivered using keys only (eg freehand drawing). Keyboard functionality is never locked to a particular page element.
  • Provides users enough time to read content
    • Pages with a time limit provide users options to extend, adjust or disable the time limit. Automatically moving content that lasts longer than three seconds can be paused, stopped or hidden.
  • Does not present content in a way known to cause seizures
    • No page content flashes more than three times per second unless the content is sufficiently small and the flashes are of low content and do not contain much red.
  • Provides ways to help users navigate, find content and determine where they are
    • All pages contain ‘Skip to’ links, to jump directly to certain page elements.
    • Page titles, headings and form labels are descriptive and informative, with the navigation order of page elements logical and intuitive.
    • Link purpose and target can be determined from the link text alone or from the text and its context. Links with the same text but different targets are readily distinguishable.
    • Multiple pathways are provided to all content—eg sitemap, search, A-Z directory.
  • Makes text content readable and understandable
    • The page language is identified using the HTML lang attribute (<html lang=”en”>), with page content in a different language also identified (<table lang=”es”>).
    • Unusual words, abbreviations or acronyms are defined through adjacent text, glossary, or using the <acronym> element.
  • Makes pages present and operate in predictable ways
    • Interaction with pages does not results in substantial changes to the page, without the user being informed of the change ahead of time.
    • Navigation links that are repeated through the site do not change order. Similarly, repeated elements across multiple pages are consistently identified.
  • Helps users avoid and correct mistakes
    • Labels, instructions and validation are used to ensure user-input information is provided in the appropriate format. Form validation errors are presented efficiently, intuitively and accessibly.
    • Changes, additions or deletions of data can be reversed, verified or confirmed.
  • Maximises compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies
    • Significant validation / parsing errors are avoided, with markup used in a way that facilitates accessibility and adheres to best-practice in web standards.

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