In order to facilitate user operation, enhance usability, and increase accessibility overall, many beneficial features have been incorporated into this siteâ€™s design. For example, navigational links are located consistently in key areas throughout the site and are easily accessible. Additionally, all site links are highlighted upon focus to facilitate keyboard-only navigation. Also, â€œQuick-Jumpâ€ links â€” also known as â€œAccess Keysâ€ â€” are located at the very start of every page and enable users to navigate quickly to important areas of the site.
Beyond navigational features, this site also employs strongly contrasted text, code, symbols, and other visual elements. Site content is presented via web-safe colors, common primary fonts, and universal backup fonts. All text presented throughout the site is completely resizable via any browser to accommodate any user preference. To adjust the text size, hold the [Ctrl] (control) button on your keyboard and rotate the scroll wheel on your mouse (Or, alternately, set the text size via your browser: Go to View > Text Size).
In addition to good contrast and resizable text, all links and form fields are designed to change appearance upon user focus via keyboard or mouse. This functionality greatly facilitates the process of navigating through the site using a keyboard. Upon user focus, form field borders become highlighted with a solid white border while links (as previously mentioned) receive an off-white background highlight. While altering visual properties of fields and links to indicate focus is far from perfect, it definitely reduces confusion and assists user accessibility.
To ensure quality site design and an accessible user interface, comprehensive site testing is performed for a wide range of attributes, covering everything from usability and accessibility to browser compatibility and standards-compliance. We employ services such as WebXact, CynthiaSays, and SiteReportCard to ensure complete usability and accessibility. We also employ valid, semantically correct XHTML markup and external, hack-free CSS that validates against W3C standards.
Overall, the IOEE site is developed and maintained according to the cornerstone principles of modern website design: progressive enhancement, unobtrusive scripting, backward compatibility, and a strict separation of content, structure, presentation, and behavior. Whether experiencing our accessibility features firsthand or examining our official Accessibility Statement, suffice it to say that the IOEE strives to deliver clear, concise content via accessible, standards-compliant design that is free and available for everyone to use and enjoy.
IOEE provides various â€œAccess Keysâ€ which serve as keyboard shortcuts to facilitate site navigation. Here is a list of the Access Keys available throughout this site 1:
AccessKey = 0 â†’ [Jump Menu] Jump to Top of Page
AccessKey = 1 â†’ [Content] Jump to Main Content
AccessKey = 2 â†’ [Explore] Jump to Menu, Archives, & Links
AccessKey = 3 â†’ [Comments] Jump to Comments
AccessKey = 4 â†’ [Search] Jump to Site Search
AccessKey = 5 â†’ [Home] Go to Home Page
AccessKey = 6 â†’ [Sitemap] Go to Site Map
AccessKey = 7 â†’ [Contact] Go to Contact Page
AccessKey = 8 â†’ [Login] Go to Login/Register Page
AccessKey = 9 â†’ [Accessibility] Go to Accessibility Statement
Using AccessKeys is theoretically simple, although browser manufacturers have yet to agree on a standard way of using them. Here is a list describing the various browserâ€™s methods for utilizing AccessKey functionality:
Firefox 1.5 â†’ Alt + AccessKey
Firefox 2.0 â†’ Alt + Shift + AccessKey
Mozilla â†’ Alt + AccessKey
Netscape 6+ â†’ Alt + AccessKey
Opera â†’ Shift + Esc + AccessKey
Internet Explorer â†’ Alt + AccessKey Â» Enter
Firefox (All) â†’ Ctrl + AccessKey
Mozilla â†’ Ctrl + AccessKey
Netscape 6+ â†’ Ctrl + AccessKey
Safari 1.2 â†’ Ctrl + AccessKey
Opera â†’ Shift + Esc + AccessKey
Internet Explorer 5.2 â†’ Ctrl + AccessKey
Konqueror â†’ Control tap + AccessKey
Netscape < 6
WELL-STRUCTURED, VALID MARKUP
IOEE provides meta information for images, links, abbreviations, and acronyms. For images conveying semantic meaning, textual descriptions are provided via alt attributes. Images conveying no semantical information (e.g., background images, racing stripes, and other presentational graphics) will present an empty alt attribute. Similarly, links, acronyms, and abbreviations will provide explanatory descriptions via title attributes.