Western Illinois University is committed to providing all users, including those with disabilities, access to accessible web resources. Western Illinois University utilizes the web to enhance the educational experience and to communicate University information; therefore, we are committed to ensuring that information and resources provided via the official University web presence are accessible to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
This site, overseen by the Web Accessibility Committee, collects resources intended to help WIU web managers understand web accessibility issues, and make their web sites accessible, as now required by Illinois law.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility is the art and craft of making web sites that can be used by everyone, regardless of ability or disability.
Despite the web’s great potential for people with disabilities, this potential is still largely unrealized. For example, currently, the web is populated with websites can only be navigated using a mouse, and only a very small percentage of video or multimedia content has been captioned for the Deaf. What if the internet content is only accessible by using a mouse? What do people do if they can’t use a mouse? And what if web developers use graphics instead of text? If screen readers can only read text, how would they read the graphics to people who are blind?
These types of questions highlight the need to build websites and provide internet resources that are available to users with disabilities.
The major categories of disability types are:
Each of the major categories of disabilities requires certain types of adaptations in the design of the web content. Most of the time, these adaptations benefit nearly everyone, not just people with disabilities. Almost everyone benefits from helpful illustrations, properly organized content, and clear navigation. Similarly, while captions are a necessity for Deaf users, they can be helpful to others, including anyone who views a video without audio.
For a more in-depth introduction to web accessibility, visit Utah State University’s WebAIM website.
The Web Accessibility Committee welcomes your questions or comments via our Contact page.