SF State News {University Communications}

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Campus Web site receives statewide award

November 14, 2008 -- San Francisco State University's Web site has won a California Digital Inclusion Award in recognition of the site's ease of use and accessibility for all users. The California Digital Inclusion Awards are jointly awarded by the Center for Accessible Technology and the California Emerging Technology Fund.

Photograph of a person using a computer with the aid of assistive technology.

SF State student using a computer with the aid of assistive technology

The University Web site has been recognized specifically for its home page design which features an expandable menu of links making it easier for visitors using assistive technology such as screen readers to navigate the site. In addition, the site offers a "skip navigation" function that allows users to jump directly to the main content of each Web page. Without this tool, visitors using screen readers would have to listen to a long list of links before reaching the main content. Similarly keyboard-only users would have to tab through these links before reaching the main content.

SF State's use of expandable links and skip navigation is unique in that these tools are in the spirit of universal design: made accessible to all users -- those using assistive technology and those who are not.

This is the inaugural year of the California Digital Inclusion Awards. A total of four awards will be presented at a ceremony in Oakland on Nov. 18, designed to raise awareness about barriers to Web accessibility and demonstrate assistive technology. "By creating this program, we are celebrating the companies that are providing access for Web users with disabilities," said Dmitri Belser, Executive Director of the Center for Accessible Technology.

A combined effort of University Communications, the Division of Information Technology and the Disability Programs and Resource Center, SF State's new Web template was launched in spring 2008. The new Web template was implemented to comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements and create a consistent, visually appealing experience for all visitors to University Web pages.

-- For more information about the Center for Accessible Technology visit their Web site at: http://www.cforat.org

-- For more information about the California Emerging Technology Fund visit: http://www.cetfund.org

-- Student Writer Josh Tobias with Elaine Bible


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