33.04.99.M5.01: Web Accessibility and Usability Procedures

Standard Administrative Procedure
Approved May 4, 2004
Supplements University Rule 33.04.99.M5



Accessibility and usability are required of all University Web pages intended for the public.  The intended audience for this procedure includes people who develop and maintain Texas A&M University Web sites.


2.1       Accessibility Criteria – Web design criteria that support access that is not dependent on a single sense or ability, such as vision or hearing.

2.2       Usability Criteria – Web design criteria that support user performance, ease of navigation, and understandability

2.3       University Homepage – The main page for Texas A&M University, College Station; Texas A&M University, Galveston; or Texas A&M University at Qatar.

2.4       Key Public Entry Point – The top-level page of major divisions and services offered by Texas A&M University.


3.1       Accessibility criteria apply to all Web pages as defined in University Rule 33.04.99.M5: Web Accessibility and Usability.

3.2       Text equivalents - A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "ALT", "LONGDESC", or in element content).

3.3       Multimedia presentations - Equivalent alternatives for any multi-media presentation are recommended to be synchronized with the presentation. If a synchronized alternative is not available, a non-synchronized transcript of the presentation is recommended.

3.4       Color - Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example, from context or markup.

3.5       Readability - Use of style sheets is recommended for document presentation.

3.6       Client-side Image Maps - Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

3.7       Server-side Image Maps - Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

3.8       Tables - Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables. Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers. When tables are used for page layout, a summary tag indicating the purpose of the table shall be included.

3.9       Frames - All frames shall implement both TITLE and LONGDESC tags with appropriate text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

3.10     Blinking - Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to blink with a frequency between 2 Hz and 55 Hz.

3.11     Scripts - When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text.

3.12     Applets and plug-ins - When a Web page requires that an applet, plug-in, or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet.

3.13     Forms - When electronic forms are designed to be submitted on-line, the form shall allow access to the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

3.14     Skip-Navigation Links - A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

3.15     Alternate Text-Only Versions - Alternative text-only versions of Web sites are not recommended. If alternate text-only Web sites are used, then equivalent information and functionality shall be provided to make a Web site comply with the provisions of this procedure. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.


4.1       Usability criteria apply in the following manner:

4.1.1       University homepages and all key public entry points shall implement all usability criteria contained in this procedure.

4.1.2       All Web pages defined in University Rule 33.04.99.M5 shall implement usability criteria 4.2.1 through 4.2.4 and 4.3.

4.1.3       Application of all usability criteria for all other Web pages is recommended.

4.2       TRAIL Metadata, following the Dublin Core meta-information specification, shall be implemented (see: https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/sites/default/files/public/tslac/statepubs/docs/metadata.pdffor more information). The descriptors of TRAIL metatags must describe the specific Web page or publication in which they are included. Use of a generic set of descriptors for every publication is not acceptable. The following Dublin Core meta-information tags, as applicable per 4.1, shall be implemented:

4.2.1            DC.Title

4.2.2            DC.Author

4.2.3            DC.Subject.Keyword

4.2.4            DC.Description

4.2.5            DC.Subject

4.2.6            DC.Type

4.2.7            DC.Language

4.2.8            DC.Date

4.2.9            DC.Coverage

4.3       The HTML TITLE Tag shall be implemented on all Web pages defined in University Rule 33.04.99.M5: Web Accessibility and Usability.

4.4       The following links to state resources, as applicable per 4.1, shall be implemented:

4.4.1            Texas home page

4.4.2            Statewide Search

4.4.3            Compact with Texans

4.5       The following links to university information, as applicable per 4.1, shall be implemented:

4.5.1            University Homepage

4.5.2            Privacy and Security rules

4.5.3            Accessibility rules

4.5.4            Open Records / Public Information Act

4.5.5            Campus contact information

4.6       The following links to unit information, as applicable per 4.1, shall be implemented:

4.6.1            Unit contact information  

4.6.2            Webmaster contact information


For More Information Contact: 
HELPDESK at 409-740-4480 or x4480
CIS Front Desk at 409-740-4714 or x 4714

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Email: webmaster@tamug.edu