D49.org Accessibility (Updated Nov. 7, 2016)

  • D49.org templates are designed with a commitment to providing information that's accessible to individuals with visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities. The aim of the district's communications team and school-based webmasters is to follow ADA standards and best practices for website accessibility.
     
    Efforts to ensure D49.org complies with the latest standards and best practices are routinely made in good faith. To this end, templates and page content is continually reviewed for accessibility issues. Elaborate reviews using third party software, including SiteImprove and WAVE, are conducted during each seasonal break. 

    For overall design consistency and adaptable content, we rely on a centralized stylesheet, rather than each page having its own style.

    If you are unable to access any page at D49.org, please report the trouble using the website help ticket system here, emailing webhelp@d49.org, or calling the digital communications specialist at 719.499.5982. It's important to provide detailed information, such as the page URL or title and what happens when you try to access the information. It may be helpful to also explain the format that best helps you. Be sure to provide your name, email address and phone number.

    Use of Typography

    In support of website accessibility standards, and designing for inclusion using the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), including support for assistive technologies, we understand that font family, size and color are critical to the user experience. We know that studies have concluded that sans serif fonts are often the most legible, and serif fonts are least preferred. An online reading experience benefits greatly from using sans serif fonts like Arial at 12-point sizes and higher. While this font is 12-point on desktop views, our central stylesheet for D49.org keeps main content published in sans serif fonts that adapt to narrowing screen sizes.

    We understand, based on the W3C accessibility requirements for people with low vision, that bolded fonts are easier to read than italics or underlined text, and the latter must be mostly reserved for hyperlinks. Similarly, many people cannot distinguish differences in color, so changes in color aren't a great way to highlight or draw attention to text.

    According to WCAG 2.0 best practices for contrast, text contrast must meet a minimum ratio of 4.5:1. Text that's at least 18-point (or 14-point bold) must remain above 3:1. We understand that text published in all capital letters is difficult to read for most people, with and without disabilities, especially when the font isn't larger than the 12-point standard. We work to apply margins and borders that help keep adequate space between text and image elements.

    Use of Color

    Our use of color is meant to create pages that are clear in content and flow in design, knowing color must not used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements. We use tools to ensure contrast ratios remain within acceptable ranges for the visually impaired. The visual presentation of text, including images of text, must meet a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1, except for where text size increases visibility, it's part of an incidental or inactive user interface component, or part of a logo or other branding element. When navigating a D49.org page with a keyboard, in-focus hyperlinks often transition to black-on-white with a 110-percent increase in font size.

    Keyboard Navigation

    We routinely look for keyboard accessibility issues, one of the most important aspects of web accessibility. Many website visitors with disabilities rely on a keyboard, including those with motor and vision limitations. Some community members don't necessarily have a diagnosed disability, but they routinely experience tremors or joint pain that doesn't allow fine motor control. Our goal is to ensure keyboard navigation provides access to all links, using a logical and intuitive progression.

    External Links

    Some pages at D49.org contain links to third party sites, which are not within our control and may not comply with accessibility standards. The district is not responsible for the content or accessibility of third party sites. While navigating our sites with a keyboard, links to these sites are identified in red using focus indicators. For example, here's a link to an external site explaining web content accessibility guidelines, which will appear red when in focus.
     

    Netiquette

    From a netiquette and relational perspective, given the absence of face-to-face clues, text can easily be misinterpreted. Therefore humor and sarcasm is best avoided. Exclamation marks are easily perceived as shouting, and excessive acronyms often create confusion. 

    Our Distributed Effort

    It's important to note that, as we balance our ability to keep content updated with our current staff member resources, many D49.org pages, sections and websites are edited by domain, content or program experts. If any information is ever difficult to access or understand, use the website help button at the bottom of every page at D49.org. The form will automatically communicate to us the page causing troubles.
     
  • Matt Meister
    Communications Director
    Office: 719.495.1151
    Mary Velasquez
    Administrative Assistant to Communications
    Office: 719.495.1148
    Amy Matisek
    Internal Communications Manager
    Office: 719.495.1149 ext. 2136
    Sam Dosen-Himelrick
    Digital Communications Manager
    Office:
    Aaron Villescas
    Marketing and Communications Specialist
    Office: 719.495.1144
    Amy Bremser
    Media and Television Broadcasting Specialist
    Office: 719.499.3756