Web Site Accessibility Policy

 

(Portions of this Policy were adapted from various sources, including accessibility guidelines and policies set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice.)

At Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., we are committed to ensuring that our online products and Web sites have accessible features for all users, including those with disabilities. Many disabled people use assistive technologies, such as screen readers or voice-recognition software, to make their use of computers and access to the Internet possible. A Web site that is "accessible" can be used effectively by both disabled users and users without a disability. To fulfill the objectives of our accessibility commitment, we have adopted as our primary guidelines the Section 508 Web site accessibility standards set forth in December 2000 by the Access Board, an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. The Section 508 standards list the requirements that must be met to label a product or service "accessible." The Section 508 standards must be followed by Federal agencies for their own Web pages to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and companies that comply with the Section 508 standards can assure Federal agencies that their products are "accessible." For a list of our product accessibility features, see Encyclopædia Britannica Online's "Status of Compliance with Section 508's Accessibility Standards" below.

 

As a global company, Britannica is also committed to serving the needs of its international customers. As a result, in addition to the Section 508 standards for accessibility, we also strive to comply with the "Priority 1" checkpoints, which roughly correspond to the Section 508 standards, and "Priority 2" checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative, which is a subgroup of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). More information about the W3C and their accessibility guidelines can be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI.

 

We continuously test our Encyclopædia Britannica Online Web sites for compliance with the accessibility standards set forth above. The accessibility of Encyclopædia Britannica Online Web sites, however, depends on third party technologies provided by operating system, hardware platforms and assistive technologies, all of which can affect the level of accessibility of Encyclopædia Britannica Online Web sites. In order to continuously test our level of accessibility, our team of developers utilizes a software program called Bobby Worldwide developed by the nonprofit Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). To ensure the accessibility of the Web site in the classroom, we also consult with members of the disabled community on a regular basis. We will continue to enhance the accessibility of our online products as greater functionality becomes available to ensure ongoing usefulness to all users, including those with disabilities.

 

We also are committed to addressing issues that prevent the use of our software by people with disabilities. We welcome your feedback and suggestions. If you have any comments or questions about our online products and the accessibility thereof, please contact:

Britannica Customer Support

 

In addition, please let us know if you have any problems accessing our Encyclopædia Britannica Online Web sites. When you contact us, please provide the following information:

 

• The nature of your accessibility problem.

• The format you prefer for receiving requested Web site material.

• The Web address of the requested material.

• Your contact information.

 

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions regarding ADA compliance for Britannica Online in general, please contact:

Britannica Customer Support

 

Status of Compliance with Section 508's Accessibility Standards

 

At Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. we are committed to offering "accessible" Web pages in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Accordingly, the following table sets forth the Section 508 accessibility standards that are applicable to Web sites, and the status of Encyclopædia Britannica Online's (the "Site's") compliance with those standards. See 36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22.

 

Item

Status

Remarks

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content).

Compliant

The majority of content-relevant, non-text elements on the Site have "alt" text describing such elements. We are in the process of fixing the remainder of the non-text elements and will continue such efforts on a going forward basis. Non-text elements that are used purely for formatting purposes, as opposed to content-relevant, non-text elements, have null "alt" tags, as prescribed by the Section 508 standards.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

In progress*

We currently are in the process of captioning the audio portions of all multimedia presentations on the Site and synchronizing the captions with the audio presentation, as prescribed by the Section 508 standards, and will continue to do so on a going forward basis.

In addition, there are a number of video presentations on the Site that do not have accompanying audio tracks; therefore, the Section 508 standards do not require that audio descriptions accompany such "silent" videos. We are in the process, however, of ensuring that all such "silent" videos are associated with text alternatives, such as "alt" text, as prescribed by the Section 508 standards, and will continue to do so on a going forward basis.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(c) Web pages shall be designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.

Compliant

All Web pages on the Site are designed so that all information conveyed with color is also available without color. In addition, no critical information is presented on the Site in a color-coded fashion.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

Compliant

The documents on the Site are organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(e) Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.

Compliant

Server-side image maps are not used on the Site.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(f) Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.

Compliant

Client-side image maps are used on the Site, but not server-side image maps.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables.

In progress*

All data tables have row and column headers in the top-most row and the left-most column of cells. However, they are in the process of being tagged to comply with the Section 508 standards.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.

In progress*

Because data tables of the type contemplated by 36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(h) are rare on the Site, we currently have not implemented the markup procedures prescribed by the Section 508 standards. If a user requires a specific piece of information included in such a data table, a mechanism for requesting that information will be provided to such user. In addition, with respect to content generated in-house, we are in the process of implementing the 36 C.F.R. sec. 1994.22(h) markup guidelines on a going forward basis.  

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(i) Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation.

Compliant

Frames are not used on the Site.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Compliant

Except as provided below and in compliance with the Section 508 standards, flashing or flickering elements, such as animated GIFs, Java applets or third-party plug-ins or applications, or any other form of flickering animations, are not used on the Sites.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

Compliant

The Site can be viewed through text-only browsers like Lynx.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

Compliant

All pages on the Site that utilize scripting languages to display content, or to create interface elements, are also identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(m) When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with ??1194.21(a) through (l).

In progress*

Other than normal video files, the only content types on the Site that require special plugins are Shockwave and Flash elements. We are in the process of providing explicit links to an applet that complies with 36 C.F.R. sec. ?1194.21(a) through (l) and 1194.22(j) for each of these elements.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

Compliant

The only electronic forms the Site use that are designed to be completed on-line are those used for the "login" and "e-mail this article" features. In most cases, both forms allow people using assistive technology to access the information, field elements and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues. If, however, such forms do not work with a user's assistive technology, a mechanism for requesting the forms and their associated directions and cues will be provided to such user.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.

Compliant

All repetitive navigation links on the Site can be skipped without compromising the functionality of the site.

36 C.F.R. sec. 1194.22(p) When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient time to indicate more time is required.

Compliant

Timed responses are not used on the Site.