DRES — Disability Resources & Education Services
Leading the way for accessibility — Drupal style
Known as an innovative leader in supporting students with disabilities, the University of Illinois Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES) Division needed a new website that would showcase its rich traditions and help incoming and currents students take advantage of its vibrant programming.
The existing DRES website had fallen out of date when its last webmaster left. While full of essential information for thousands of students, the content and navigation had grown out of control over the years, making it hard to use and offering little to attract potential students to the University. And for DRES, meeting website accessibility requirements was not just a matter of following the letter of the law but of leading the way for others.
The new DRES website employs an entirely new architecture with an organization that now supports current students who frequently visit and know what they’re after as well as browsers — alumni or potential students — who want to know more about DRES. The beautiful, new design is also fully accessible to disabled visitors. On top of Drupal 7, the most accessible version of Drupal to date, Pixo was able to implement ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) markup to provide more semantic cues about the content — an emerging standard for people who rely on assistive technologies to navigate the web. The architecture of the site was built, tested, and revised to appeal to users with attention challenges. For example, a “Save to my Quick Links” feature allows users to mark any page as a quick links page so that they have one-click access to all pages that they desire.