The IRIS Center is proud to maintain a website that meets the compliance regulations and criteria for online accessibility expressed in Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act. Besides being subject to periodic tests and evaluation by individuals with disabilities, the IRIS website features:
- WCAG 2.2 Accessibility: More rigorous even than Section 508, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were developed through the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to create the highest possible standard for online accessibility for people with disabilities and across a wide variety of devices.
- Barrier- and password-free accessibility to the site itself: To facilitate ease-of-use and barrier-free visits, the IRIS website does not ask visitors to sign in or create an account to view our free materials and resources. Only those who wish to take advantage of our IRIS Professional Development options are required to create an account ID and password.
- Keyboard site navigation option for those who have difficulty manipulating a mouse: Certain kinds of disabilities make using a computer mouse unwieldy and difficult. For this reason, the IRIS website features simple navigation via your keyboard. Use the “tab” key to cycle through the links and buttons on a given page, and tap “enter” to make your selection.
- Alt text descriptions of pictures and graphics: For those with visual disabilities, we include alt text descriptions of the photos and descriptions of the artwork, tables, and graphs that appear in IRIS Modules and other resources so that those who might have difficulty seeing them can nevertheless take full part in those materials.
- Consistent navigation across sections and online features: Every section of the IRIS website was carefully considered and designed with a consistency of form and function in mind. Accessibility features present on one page are present on every page, something we believe will help to ease the difficulty and frustration of navigating a large website with many features. This sentiment also applies to our STAR Legacy Modules, which are built around a consistent, predictable format that offers a variety of navigation options.
- Video captioning: All IRIS Challenge videos, video interviews, and instructional demonstrations are closed captioned for those who have hearing impairments.
- Transcripts of all audio and video features and written descriptions of video presentations not featuring speech or dialogue: Also for those with hearing impairments, the IRIS Center creates transcripts of every audio and video feature on the site, including those videos that might not include dialogue. Simple click on the link beneath the audio or video to access its print version.
As further innovations in website accessibility become available, the IRIS Center will review all current features and layouts, striving always to make our online home a more welcoming place for anyone who wishes to visit.