|Weekly News Digest
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EBSCO Publishing Improves Web Accessibility
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has teamed with accessibility experts to make it easier to search EBSCOhost using screen readers and keyboard controls. Working with the EBSCO Accessibility Interest Group, led by the Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility (iCITA) at the University of Illinois–Urbana/Champaign (http://cita.uiuc.edu), EBSCO was able to determine that text-only interfaces, the industry standard for Web accessibility (which is referred to as 508 compliance in the U.S.), were no longer enough.
The EBSCOhost text-only interface met the standards for 508 compliance, as outlined within the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (www.section508.gov). However, the text-only interface still incorporated various elements that presented roadblocks to functional usability for impaired researchers using screen readers. By working with the EBSCO Accessibility Interest Group, changes have been made that make the full features of EBSCOhost available to all users, including those with various physical and visual disabilities.
Some of the improvements include the following:
- Elimination of most tables to improve searching with screen readers or keyboard controls
- Descriptive page titles, section header tags, and selected link labels
- Redesigned form controls for easier tab navigation
- Streamlined code for simpler page structures
- Access keys that support international keyboard functionality across multiple browsers
- Detailed alternative text image descriptions
- Visually and physically impaired users can perform searches independently most of the time
- Decreased page sizes mean shorter download times for all users
More information can be found at www.ebscohost.com/webaccessibility.Source: EBSCO Publishing
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