In the development of the new Concordia University website, as well as the templates for departmental and unit sites, we have tried to follow accessibility standards in order to make the site usable to the broadest possible audience. We want the site to be usable by people using assistive technologies, such as screen readers, and to those people using older browsers, computers and slow connection speeds.
In line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), we have constructed our pages to "transform gracefully", in other words, we have:
- separated structure from presentation. We use Cascading Style Sheets to control all presentation. Turning off the style sheet will affect the visual presentation but we have tried to ensure that the various site functions and navigation will still work.
- created documents that work even if the user cannot see and/or hear. All content is provided as text; when images, audio or video files are used, they are given equivalent alternatives. Blind users can use screen reader technology to render all text information on a page.
- created documents that do not rely on one type of hardware. Users can access the site with a variety of browser technologies, screen resolutions and settings, with or without mice, etc. See the sections below for information on shortcuts and access keys.
We have also tried to ensure that the content is understandable and navigable. We have provided:
- a universal top-level tool bar that situates you within the university structure, including links to the appropriate sites in the organization's hierarchy.
- a standardized navigation structure, using text for links and not images, that clearly situates the user within up to five levels of the site's information architecture.
- a bread crumb trail located just above the page tite, which also situates the user within the site structure.
Persons using assistive devices should contact the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities for help with assistive technology.
The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities
The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities provides programs and services which support the integration and independence of students with disabilities into the university community.
Students with visual or hearing impairments, mobility limitations, or learning disabilities may require special services while studying at Concordia. Services include:
- orientation sessions
- individual academic support and advising
- alternative media transcription
- volunteer reader services
- classroom relocation for mobility impaired students
- tape recorders, FM personal systems, and personal computers with voice and Braille output are available for on campus use.
The Policy on Accessibility for Students with Disabilities outlines the respective roles and responsibilities of the University and of students with disabilities with respect to accessibility to the academic programs and physical facilities of the University. Download the policy (PDF).
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