SiteImprove Accessibility Guidelines

SiteImprove is an application that scans the UMB website for issues relating to quality assurance, search engine optimization, accessibility, and more.

It can be useful in identifying spelling errors and broken links, but our main focus is on correcting accessibility issues. Web content managers should use the following instructions to correct common accessibility issues on the pages of umaryland.edu that they oversee.

Scope

A screenshot of the SiteImprove interface showing where to filter issues by Scope and CategoryFor now, we are only addressing issues that SiteImprove has labeled A and AA. You may ignore all AAA issues at the present time.

It is recommended to filter SiteImprove to only show issues in the Editor category, as these are the most likely to be relevant to the average web content manager.

Never Click “Can’t fix”

If you see an issue you don’t know how to handle, do not click SiteImprove’s “Can’t fix” button. Instead, please report the issue to the CPA web team and request assistance. There may be one-off technical issues that require the attention of a developer, less-common issues that aren’t fully explained below, or issues that need to be corrected on a template level. We’re here to help!

Instructions to Fix Common Issues

The following is a list of common error messages you might see in SiteImprove, with instructions that are specific to the umaryland.edu web templates, our web practices, and the T4 CMS. You will find general information about each issue in the SiteImprove interface, including more details about the specific issue and SiteImprove’s suggested methods of fixing it.

We thank you for taking the time and effort to make our website as accessible as possible.

Is the image free of text?

A screenshot of the SiteImprove interface showing where to apply an "Approved" decision to an imageIn most cases, images should contain no text. Please refer to our guidelines about when text in an image is acceptable. If the image contains no text, or m

eets our guidelines for the inclusion of text, you may apply an “Approved” decision to that image. If the image contains text and fails to meet the guidelines, consider replacing it with a photograph or a stock image.

Should image be marked as decorative?

If an image is “marked as decorative,” that means it is missing alternative text for the visually impaired, more commonly referred to as alt text. Find the image in T4’s Media Library and enter your alt text into its Description text box. Please refer to our guidelines for writing good alt text.

A screenshot of the Description box, where alt text should be added in the T4 CMS

Image link is missing alternative text

All image links must include alternative text for the visually impaired, more commonly referred to as alt text. Find the image in T4’s Media Library and enter your alt text into its Description text box. Please refer to our guidelines for writing good alt text.

A screenshot of the Description box, where alt text should be added in the T4 CMS

Link text used for multiple different destinations

Link text should clearly indicate the page it’s linking to. Consider how to reword your link for specificity and clarity. For example, “Read more” could be changed to “Read more about [topic]”.

In some cases, the problem may be that the title of one of your pages is too generic. Rename the page to something more specific. For example, “About Us” could be changed to “About URecFit.” By default, a page’s URL will change to match its title in T4. If you wish to retain the original URL, employ an Output URI.

Specific and clear links and page titles aren’t just good for accessibility. They also can boost your page’s search engine rankings and make it easier for visitors to find.

Link text is too generic in its current context

Link text should clearly indicate the page it’s linking to. Consider how to reword your link for specificity and clarity. For example, “Read more” could be changed to “Read more about [topic]”.

In some cases, the problem may be that the title of one of your pages is too generic. Rename the page to something more specific. For example, “About Us” could be changed to “About URecFit.” By default, a page’s URL will change to match its title in T4. If you wish to retain the original URL, employ an Output URI.

Specific and clear links and page titles aren’t just good for accessibility. They also can boost your page’s search engine rankings and make it easier for visitors to find.

Should the table have a description?

A table’s title should be entered as its “Table caption” in T4. Please refer to the section on titles in our instructions for working with tables in T4.

Does the table have clearly defined headers?

All tables must have clearly defined headers. Please refer to the section on headers in our instructions for working with tables in T4.

If headers don’t seem appropriate for the information presented in the table, consider whether that information can really be considered appropriate tabular data. In those cases, please consider alternative ways to lay out the content, such as one of our other content types. Remember: Tables should only be used for tabular data, never for layout.

Element not highlighted on focus

There is a known error in SiteImprove that will mistakenly flag every link on the page with this issue. If you see this happen, try clicking the “Recheck this page” button in SiteImprove, and the issue should disappear.

HTML is used to format content

This issue commonly affects tables. If you have manually added border, width, margin/padding, or any other attributes to your tables, please delete them. Clicking and dragging a table to change its width in T4’s editor also can cause a width attribute to be added to the table’s code.

A screenshot of the HTML button in the T4 CMSIn most cases, your best bet will be to use the editor’s HTML button to manually delete the attributes that have been added. For example, <table border="0" style="width: 60%;"  align="left"> should be changed to just <table>. These attributes are not necessary, as our template stylesheets can format most tables automatically.

iFrame is missing a description

Give your iframe a title attribute, like so:
<iframe title=”Title Goes Here” ...

One of the more common uses of iframes are YouTube or Vimeo embed codes.

Embedded Wufoo forms also can be flagged with this issue. According to Wufoo’s support team, there is currently no solution available. Please ignore these flags for the time being.

Heading is missing text

A screenshot demonstrating where to fix the issue in the T4 CMS interfaceOpen your content inT4 and look for blank lines in the editor, such as you would get if you pressed the Enter key one time too many. If you didn’t mean for the blank line to be there, backspace it and re-publish the content. If you wish to keep the blank line, click it to place the cursor there, then open the Format drop-down menu and click “Paragraph.”