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Changing Guide Template

While all new guides will start with the OU Libraries Official Template, existing guides need to be updated to use this template.

  1. Click on the Guide Layout dropdown button (has an "image" icon).
  2. Choose Guide Navigation Layout.
  3. The dropdown menu on the popup will indicate which template your guide is using. Make sure to change it to the OU Libraries Official Template (if it is not already).
  4. Make sure the checkbox for showing all subpages in the navigation is checked.
  5. Make sure the checkbox for showing box-level navigation for a selected page is not checked (unless your guide has no pages with two columns and you believe the box-level navigation will be helpful).
  6. Save.

Editing Guides for Accessibility

While the new template makes some important changes for accessibility, it cannot ensure that all content created is accessible. Updating content in all guides to be accessible may be a long process. Please read through the pages Creating Accessible Guides and LibGuides Content Types for information about what you will need to do, but keep in mind that you are not expected to change everything all at once! This page will provide a list which areas to focus on and when they are due (i.e. the date that all content needs to be updated to meet the specified objectives). Of course, there is no obligation to wait: You are more than welcome to jump ahead and edit your guides ahead of schedule!

Note for New Content

While existing content does not have to be edited for accessibility all at once, any new content must be accessible. The due dates provided only apply to content you have already created.

Removing Formats

If you have any sections of Rich Text/HTML content, you may want to edit these, select all of the text, and click on the Remove Format button (right after the strikethrough). This will give you a blank slate to work with and make checking your content easier, as you won't have to worry that you styled something as a heading instead of making it a heading or otherwise added inaccessible styles. The button will not remove elements like headings and lists.


The following is the current schedule for when all guides need to meet specific requirements. Most requirements have not beens scheduled yet, but you can view them after this list if you want to jump ahead or plan ahead. The various stages are subject to change, especially if needed to keep in line with OU Libraries' overall content policy.

Please refer to the this guide and the general accessibility guides as needed for each item.

  1. Guide navigation layout (June 18)
    1. All guides use the new template (OU Libraries Official Template).
    2. All guides use appropriate navigation options for subpages and box-level navigation.
  2. Current: Link descriptions (August 13)
    1. Links do not use the "More Info" box. All additional info is included in the description, instead.
      1. Use the WAVE automated tool on each page.
      2. Check for any alerts for "Suspicious link text."
      3. If there are any, check each alert. If an alert takes you to a link called "more..." you have found a link using the "More Info" box.
      4. You can also manually scan the page for any "more..." links, but WAVE will make it easier to quickly identify these.
    2. Link and Book from the Catalog description displays are set to display beneath item title.
      1. Scan the page for and icons with an i on top of a black circle. If you find one, you have a link or book with description display set to "Hover over info icon."
      2. Scan the page for any links or books that don't have a description shown. Try hovering over them. If any description pops up, you have found an item with description display set to "Hover over item title."
  3. Up Next: Image alternative text (October 22nd)
    1. Images of text are not included (unless absolutely necessary).
      1. While checking if images have appropriate alternative text (next step after this one), make sure the image in question is not an image of text. If it is, ensure that all the text is included as text on the page. If you want to also provide the image just for the style, that is no problem, but the text in the image should be redundant.
    2. images have appropriate alternative text.
      1. Use the WAVE automated tool on each page.
      2. Look for any errors that include the phrase "missing alternative text." Provide either null alt or written alt text as appropriate (refer to the Digital Accessibility - General Reference guide and/or this image tutorial).
      3. Look for alerts indicating suspicious, redundant, duplicate, or long alternative text. Fix these issues as needed.
      4. Look for features indicating existing or null alternative text, and double check that the provided (or null) alternative text is appropriate.
    3. Thumbnail images on links (including documents) have accessible alt text (most likely null).
      1. This is included in step 2. Pay close attention if non-null alternative text has been provided, and make sure that it is useful and does not detract from the link text, as screen readers will include it as part of the link text.
    4. Book cover art has accessible alt text (most likely null).
      1. This is included in step 2. As with step 3, pay close attention if non-null alternative text has been provided.
      2. Also pay close attention if you see any alternative text that says "cover art." Always remove this!
    5. Resource icons are not used in links (including books and documents).
      1. You probably aren't using any, but if you are you will notice that the image is a separate link from the main link. This is your best indication that you are using a resource icon that should be removed.
  4. Basic link accessibility (TBD)
    1. No guide pages redirect to other pages or guides.
      1. Check each page manually to make sure it keeps you on the same guide.
      2. If any pages do redirect, remove these pages and include the links as normal links within another page.
    2. Document links clearly indicate behavior.
      1. Check for these manually. If it is easier, you can go to the assets list, limit it to only document assets that you own, and check those.
      2. WAVE may provide alerts for some document links (for example, links to Word or PDF documents), but it is best not to rely on this because it doesn't do this for all of them.
    3. Link text clearly defines purpose either with context (the same sentence, paragraph, list item, or table cell) or on its own. It is strongly recommended to ensure link text makes sense without context.
      1. WAVE can help you catch the most obvious issues.
      2. Look for any "empty link" errors or "suspicious link text" alerts. WAVE will also provide an alert for redundant links, which it is best to remove whenever possible (both for screen reader users and sighted viewers).


Future Requirements

You don't have to worry about completing these yet, but if you want to get started on them or just to plan ahead, this is the current outline. The tasks have been prioritized in order to get the low hanging fruit first so we can already fix some potential issues before dealing with tasks that will take more time to work on. Low priority therefore does not mean the tasks are less important for accessibility, just that they will be more involved than other tasks.

Regarding videos: Please note that the video requirements are for any videos that you/OU Libraries owns. Policy for videos we have no control over is not yet determined. Adding captions and audio descriptions to a video you don't own would most likely require a special video player that can allow for this, so we may have to draw the line at providing transcripts, at least for now.

High Priority

  • Only contact information and/or quick links are included in the side columns. Any main content is included in one of the two main columns.
  • Tabbed boxes are not floating boxes.
  • Gallery boxes conform to the accessibility criteria on the Creating Accessible Guides page.
  • Lists and headings
    • Lists and headings use the appropriate elements (not just formatted text).
    • Heading elements are only used for headings (not just for formatting).
    • It is recommended that nested lists use ordered lists (numbers) rather than unordered lists (bullets), for clearer identification of nested levels.
  • Books from catalog have reasonable description lengths.
  • All guides and guide pages have friendly URLs.
  • Pages and boxes
    • Page descriptions are not used to convey any information not clearly provided elsewhere.
    • Page and box titles are accessible (no use of all caps, etc.). It is advisable to test any titles with symbols using a screen reader to make sure the symbol is read appropriately.
  • Links and text
    • All link text makes sense out of context.
    • All text and link text is accessible (no use of all caps, uncommon abbreviations are identified, etc.)
    • All links work.

Medium Priority

  • If any foreign words are included in the text, the language is identified in the HTML.
  • Semantic/styling elements
    • The strikethrough, deleted text, and inserted text are only used when it is meaningful to do so.
    • Other elements/styles like computer code or inline quotations are used when appropriate/meaningful.
    • Note that the first three are emphasized because they will announce themselves to screen readers with the new template.
  • Headings
    • Headings are used to clearly section content. (Headings should already be used correctly. This is for adding headings if you do not have them.)
    • Note that non-floating boxes automatically begin with a heading level 2, so this mostly applies to floating boxes and to non-floating boxes with a lot of content that requires additional sectioning.
  • Color/formatting
    • Color is not used as the only means of conveying information.
    • Color contrast ratios are sufficient.
    • Any additional text formatting is accessible.
    • Note that this is about specific styles added to text. If you have used the clear formatting button, you definitely won't need to worry about this, as you will not be adding any potentially inaccessible styles.
  • Tables
    • Row and column headers are clearly marked.
    • All tables are simple (maximum of one header row and one header column) or meet additional requirements as necessary.
    • Cells do not include more than one piece of information.
    • All data that is displayed in tabular form uses an actual table element.
    • Table elements are not used for purely visual presentation of non-data content.

Low Priority

  • Videos
    • All videos have captions (not automatically generated). It is recommended to include a transcript.
    • All videos have audio descriptions (captions/transcripts don't typically describe the visual content, and so would not be sufficient).
    • For unowned videos that do not have captions/audio descriptions, a separate transcript or media alternative is provided.
  • Other media and widgets
    • All other audio/visual media meets basic standards for captions, descriptions, or other alternatives.
    • All other widgets meet general accessibility standards (e.g. for links, images, etc.). This may require some testing. If the widgets include input elements, this may include standards not mentioned in this list. At minimum, all widgets must meet WCAG 2.2 AA standards.
  • Documents
    • Documents meet accessibility standards (examples described below) or have a clearly indicated equivalent alternative that does. (e.g. An inaccessible PDF is provided with an accessible Word document.)
      • Links are accessible.
      • Images have alternative text.
      • Lists, tables, headings, and other structural elements are included and used appropriately.
    • In general this will include the kinds of things mentioned here and in the digital accessibility guide, but while WCAG 2.2 (AA) is more for the web than for documents, it can be used as a good guide for anything else that is needed.
  • Anything not mentioned here but mentioned in one of the accessibility LibGuides (to a reasonable degree) or defined in WCAG 2.2. Extensive testing is not required, but if you are adding anything or have any content that isn't mentioned here, make sure it follows the needed guidelines.