Many documents and other PDF files posted to the website are unnecessary or duplicate information. If that information is included as text on a web page, search engines will find it more easily, the content is more readable on mobile devices and web visitors can save any page on the UMass Lowell website as a PDF by simply printing the page and choosing PDF as the destination (rather than a physical printer).
Given the time involved in making documents accessible, Web Services has established the following guidelines:
- PDFs of print brochures or posters will not be posted on the website; do not assume that print materials produced by University Relations are compliant
- Only the four most recent electronic newsletters will be posted
- Degree pathways should be made into a webpage in the university Catalog
- Department or program handbooks should be converted into webpages
- Link to documents required by government agencies (such as I-9s)
- Tutorials or job aids will be converted to webpages
- Most printable forms (.doc, .docx, PDF) can be converted to web forms
Web Services Remediation
If for usability or legality purposes a document must be posted to the website and it has not been created accessibly, the Web Services team can help remediate the issue.
- When possible, provide the native (original) file in the program in which it was created.
- Provide alt-tags (descriptions) for all visual elements within the document.
- Confirm all hyperlinks embedded within the document are correct by clicking on them.