Web Initiatives & Updates
Purchase College is committed to removing barriers and making content accessible to all visitors.
In 2020 when state resources were restricted due to COVID-19, Purchase College secured funds to address structural changes to the Purchase College website and devoted human capital to removing barriers and improving accessibility. This project was a major endeavor and completed in early November 2020.
In 2021 and 2022 accessibility upgrades continued. Large projects included a LiveWhale CMS upgrade and an engagement with the vendor to overhaul image galleries to bring them into compliance with WCAG 2.1 Accessibility Guidelines.
Currently, the Accessibility Committee, Campus Technology Services, and Communications and Creative Services work together to identify goals and initiatives for the website and related entities.
Current for 2023 and Beyond
- Continue to add accessible pathways and parking lots to interactive campus map as they become available.
- Explore ‘accessible’ Way Finding technology for campus.
- Ongoing updates to templates and widgets to best address the needs of those with disabilities as well as identify content that presents barriers.
Completed in 2022
- Configured events on LiveWhale calendar to auto-populate the required statement to request an accommodation.
- Updated purchase.edu site breadcrumb.
- Engaged with CMS vendor to improve design, functionality and accessibility with image galleries and create a new tile gallery to showcase images.
- Created and disseminated the Spring 2022 Accessibility training module to all faculty and staff.
- Planned accessibility theme and training for Faculty Obligation Week. Subsequently, launched same training to staff at start of Fall semester.
- Updated display of campus bus shuttles so accessible on mobile devices.
- Updated CMS to LiveWhale 2.5.0 in December to improve functionality and accessibility.
Completed in 2021
- Published Event Accessibility Guidelines.
- Published Social Media Accessibility Guidelines.
- Restyled events on calendar to show border on hover so a physical change, and not color alone, indicates that the event boxes are linked.
- Improved social media icon accessibility with physical change of border on hover.
- Upgraded CMS to LiveWhale 1.71 and resolved accessibility issues as it related to Purchase’s templates, widgets, and content.
- Completed a project with the CMS vendor to improve accessibility with image galleries.
- Developed a self-serve portal for Annual LiveWhale CMS Review training.
Completed in 2020
Home Page, Dual Image Layouts, and Custom Landing Pages
- Increased accessibility with imagery.
- Increased accessibility on mobile devices.
- Made off-screen content accessible.
- Addressed sequencing, tabbing, and visual focus (site-wide but most often experienced here).
- Addressed links, dropdowns, and checkboxes.
- Addressed contrast issues, tiny text, and monthly calendar view.
- Restyled links so a physical change, independent of color change, indicates links.
- Removed duplicate links or coded links so screen readers skip when text is adjacent to an image.
- Remediated ‘keep reading’ links and other non-descriptive links with rich copy for screen readers.
- Simplified complicated tables.
- Implemented a header row to further assist those utilizing screen reading software.
- Removed inaccessible pdfs from site.
- Made messaging for required fields dynamic.
- Added accessible parking and entrances.
- Met with athletics web team to discuss accessibility standards for new website.
- Removed videos without closed captioning or captioned videos.
- Content editors continue to create accessibility errors.
- Purchase College is dependent on external webmasters to correct errors for sites and forms created by vendors.
- Funding is often lacking as structural issues and the need for new interfaces / apps are identified.
- As a result of the aforementioned challenges, maintaining a barrier-free and accessible website is often a moving target.
Tactics to Resolve / Ongoing
- Continue to educate content editors on CMS best practices through training and related workshops and communication.
- Continue to work with CMS vendor on accessibility issues as new items are identified and as new versions of the CMS are released.
- Contact CMS editors as issues are identified.
- Remove access for those who have not attended Annual LiveWhale CMS Review training.
- Advise faculty, staff and students on accessible communication.
- Generate accessibility reports and correct barriers.
- Develop a formal procurement process for all goods and services (including vendor apps and interfaces) that includes a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) review.