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Chapter Topics ~ Fall 2020

Best Practices

Delaware Valley Chapter: Website Accessibility

By Karen Sheldon, Delaware Valley University

When I assumed the role as webmaster of ACRL-DVC, I found a website with many accessibility issues. My mission was clear: to develop a website that could be easily accessed and maintained while documenting my process for future webmasters.

Following discussions with our web hosting service and board members, I switched the site from concrete5, an open-source content management system, to WordPress, which is more user-friendly to those without website coding experience. I collaborated with the board to improve the website’s architecture and usability. I then used the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool to identify other problems such as missing alt text for images, contrast errors, empty links, and missing form labels.

I also set in place a process to archive the website regularly using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Setting up Google Analytics has also been very useful. There has bene a 23% increase in users from 2019 to 2020 with increased sessions, page views, session duration, and a decreased bounce rate. The website still needs improvement, particularly on mobile. However, there has been progress on the content. Earlier in 2020, the board published a BLM statement and resources. It is currently at work developing a mission statement to guide us in the next normal. By striving to continually improve, we hope to better serve the ACRL-DVC community.