Mason, a public university, must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards on our websites. As a diverse institution that welcomes everyone, we are eager and proud to do this.

People with disabilities must be able to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and get the same services in a reasonable time as people without disabilities. When you're building a website, you must make sure everyone who lands on your page has access to your content.

Don't panic; we have a variety of resources to help you make that happen.

Mason's Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) offers user-friendly guidelines and resources that you can incorporate into your content presentation. They offer step-by step instructions on accessibility for:

  • Images
  • Links: Please don't use phrases such as "read more" or "click here," as they cause problems with visual readers.
  • Forms
  • Tables
  • Text Content
  • Video and Multimedia Components
  • Website Structure


When you add a photo to your page in Drupal, in the component labeled Content Image, you'll see a place to put Alternate Text. This should be a description of what is going on in the photo. People who are visually impaired have readers that will tell them what the picture is. This is different from the caption, in that Alt Text is description of what someone who is not visually impaired would see.

This is also a chance to improve our Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing send out web crawlers to collect and index information. Those crawlers make a point of indexing alternate text. Try to include terms in the alt text (for example, George Mason, Volgenau, etc.) that will improve our placement when someone is doing a web search. (And if you don't understand some of the terminology in this paragraph, check out our glossary of terms.)

If you have a video with dialogue on your site, it must be closed-captioned for our users who are hearing impaired. ATI will take care of that for you — for free. ATI will also help you get an audio description on your video for our users who are visually impaired.

Screenshot of video with closed captioning
If you post a video with dialogue, it must be closed captioned. Reach out to Mason's Assistive Technology Initiative to get this done for free, even if it's not a Mason-produced video.