Dump the documents: Examples of “no file downloads” approach to accessibility

#34074

Speaker(s)

  • Joan Concilio, Web Specialist, Penn State College of Medicine

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

Over the past five years, the websites of Penn State College of Medicine went from including more than 2,700 downloadable files to fewer than 30. This session will look at why this is important from an accessibility (and general usability!) perspective and share ideas on how it can be achieved at other institutions.

Abstract

Over the past five years, the websites of Penn State College of Medicine went from including more than 2,700 downloadable files to fewer than 30. This session will look at why this is important from an accessibility (and general usability!) perspective and share ideas on how it can be achieved.

We'll take a look at examples of how COM web staffers take material from PDFs, Excel files, Word documents, PowerPoints and more and present it in a web-native format. We'll also explore some of the benefits that have come from making these changes.

Those who attend will be able to understand the accessibility and usability drawbacks of file downloads, including effects on search, mobile responsiveness/usability, navigability and assistive technology. They'll see some options for accessibly presenting both basic and more difficult or complex content formerly housed in downloadable files.

Keypoints

  1. Accessibility and usability drawbacks of file downloads include effects on search and mobile responsiveness.
  2. There are many options for presenting both basic and complex content in web-native ways, not file downloads.
  3. Creating web-native content instead of using downloads has benefits to accessibility and general usability.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Institutional/Campus Change, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Joan Concilio

Joan Concilio has been working in web content and development since it required a dial-up modem. They are a web specialist and accessibility liaison at Penn State College of Medicine, part of Penn State, and the president of the freelance web support company Technical Penguins, which they run with their wife, Kaitlyn. Joan focuses on workflow analysis, data design and content writing and editing, with a solid dose of front-end development for fun. They have worked in web development, design and management since 1999 in the journalism, higher education, personal finance and homeschooling spaces.