Accessibility in Reason

Overview

Reason allows content authors to create accessible, well-structured content without in-depth knowledge of HTML. This document explains some accessibility features of the Reason Content Management system, and provides information on how to ensure images, forms, or other elements used within Reason are as accessible as possible.

Reason Accessibility Features

Reason provides a number of accessibility features to all Reason sites.

  • Reason maintains a clear separation between structured content and its presentation on a particular site
  • Reason provides an invisible "skip to content" link near the top of each page which provides a quick method to skip navigational links for keyboard and/or screen reader users
  • Reason converts headlines into HTML header tags to provide structure to navigate through documents
  • Reason allows for keyboard navigation of all standard interface elements
  • Reason includes text descriptions for images used across Reason sites
  • Reason includes user summaries, descriptions, and labels into HTML elements where appropriate
  • Reason provides a dynamic text-only view of any page, which may be a preferred view for some users or access devices

Creating Accessible Content in Reason

There are a number of choices that Reason users make when generating content that have implications for accessibility. While Reason can automatically take care of some accessibility concerns, many others require human judgement, such as what is or is not a good description of an image.

Uploading Images

When uploading an image into Reason, think carefully about what you enter in the "Short Caption" field. This caption is what will be used for the alternative text that will appear in place of the image in text-only mode, and be read aloud to screen reader users. The caption should be a short, concise description, much as you might describe an image to someone on the phone. When long or detailed descriptions are needed, provide them in the "Long Caption" field.

Structuring Content

Well structured content is easier to navigate for people with and without disabilities. When editing information in the "Content" field of a page, provide as much structure as possible. When you can provide a logical header, use the headline tool instead of just making the text bold. When you are presenting a list of items, use either the bullet list or numbered list tool. If your document has many sections and requires a lot of scrolling, consider using the anchor tool to provide quick links to different sections of the page.

Naming Links

Linking the text "click here" to another web page is a very common accessibility mistake. A link should be descriptive in and of itself, without requiring the user to read the surrounding sentence or paragraph. Screen reader users often navigate a page by requesting a list of all the links on a page. For these users, it is impossible to determine whether a link titled "click here" goes to the desired location or not.

Conclusion

If you have questions or need help with making accessible content in Reason, please contact the web services group. We can provide suggestions and assistance with accessibility concerns from basic HTML to media captioning.