Web Accessibility Training coming in August

As you may have heard, we’ve implemented a new Hope College Web Accessibility Policy. Additionally, we are offering web accessibility training this summer to educate those of us who are involved in editing Hope webpages. We strongly encourage our web content editors to attend.

Our first Web Accessibility Training session will be held on Thursday, August 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Haworth Center Ballroom I & II with a free lunch to follow.

The training will be led by Jeremy Abrahams who is a senior developer, UX strategist, and accessibility specialist from Mighty in the Midwest in Grand Rapids.

If you are unable to attend, a video recording and presentation materials will be made available.

Please RSVP using this form to let us know if you’ll be attending or if you’d like the video and materials sent to you.

If you have student workers who work on the website and are available, you are welcome to encourage them to attend as well.

We look forward to this time of learning, please let us know if you have any questions at web@hope.edu.

Web Accessibility Policy

Dear campus community,

We’re writing today to give you an update on website accessibility as it relates to the Hope College website, hope.edu. Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with or accessing websites, so that all users have equal access to information and functionality. Hope College (and other colleges and universities) are required to have accessible websites, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Hope College is required to develop and post a Web Accessibility Policy, outlining a technical compliance standard and describing how Hope will ensure accessibility of our web content. This email serves as notification to the campus community of this policy.

View the Hope College Web Accessibility Policy on the college policy page or feel free to contact Jason Cash in Public Affairs and Marketing for a hard copy of this information.

Later this year we will begin to offer and require web accessibility training for all campus web content editors. We will provide more information about that in the coming months.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Jason Cash
Director of Web Communications and Interim Web Accessibility Coordinator

Sara Dorer
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Coordinator

Improving Open Graph Tags on hope.edu

We’ve recently made a “behind the scenes” update to our hope.edu pages and sites within OU Campus that greatly improves the metadata code provided for open graph tags. Open Graph is a technology first introduced by Facebook in 2010 that allows integration between Facebook and its user data and a website. By integrating Open Graph meta tags into our page’s content, we can identify which elements of our pages we want to show when someone share’s a page on Facebook or Twitter.

By implementing this, Facebook no longer has to guess what image to pull when our pages are shared, for example.

Facebook describes it this way:

The Open Graph protocol enables developers to integrate their pages into Facebook’s global mapping/tracking tool Social Graph. These pages gain the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users.

OpenGraph tags often look something like this:

<meta property="og:title" content="Example title of article">
<meta property="og:site_name" content="example.com website">
<meta property="og:type" content="article">
<meta property="og:url" content="http://example.com/example-title-of-article">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/article_thumbnail.jpg">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://example.com/website_logo.png">
<meta property="og:description" content="This example article is an example of OpenGraph protocol.">

Cool, right? If none of this makes sense, all you need to know is our hope.edu web pages will look better when shared on social media sites like Facebook.

Introducing: Spera

Spera 2018
Spera 2018

See the 2018 and the inaugural issue of Spera, a new print and web publication focused on the research, scholarship and creative performance of Hope College faculty. Spera will be produced annually by the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing.

Themes in this issue include: Looking Back at the Reformation, the Fine Arts, Science on the Cutting Edge, Education and Vocational, Dimensions of Disability, Life in the Public Square and Faculty Books.

Available online at spera.hope.edu.

 

Campusmail and studentmail changes

Recently the inclusion of images in “campusmail” and “studentmail” messages has become problematic. In some cases, the distribution of messages with images can take hours and hold up other messages. Additionally, the information in an image is not accessible to those with visual impairments.

Because this system is necessary for the prompt distribution of emergency and weather-related information, we are discontinuing the inclusion of images in messages for the time being. Text-only messages also have the benefit of being more easily read on mobile devices and can be searched at a later date.

If you have an image or file that you wish to share with the campus community, please upload it to Google Drive and include a link in your message.

Please also consider complementary communication options. For example, events can be submitted to the Campus Calendar, announcements can be submitted to inHope and you can create images to be shared on various screens around campus. Additionally, you might consider promoting larger events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your department blog.

Work is underway to develop a new system for the distribution of campus-wide messages in the months ahead.

Thank you for your understanding!

Julie Huisingh, Public Affairs and Marketing
Jeff Pestun, Computing and Information Technology

Our new Student Organizations Directory

At Hope, life outside the classroom is as vibrant as it is inside. Our Student Life office offers an array of opportunities for students to get involved in more than 50 student-led organizations.

However, for many years our student groups were provided a fairly limiting template and embedded blog for sharing information (and many were not updated regularly). When we began the process of redesigning the new Student Life website, we knew a key aspect to success would be a finding a way to showcase the many student organizations and opportunities.

Together, we chose to abandon the one-size-fits-all approach of handing every group their own site, and worked toward a comprehensive Student Organizations Directory. The new directory provides an at-a-glance view of every Student Congress funded group, with quick access to social media links. The expanding accordions allow interested users to learn more about each group with a short description, photo, and email address to contact.

We also recognize that some groups or organizations do require more than a directory listing. For those, we work closely with the group to identify specific needs and a plan for sustainability. A few examples of custom sites for student organizations include:

We’re eager to hear feedback from students and others on their experience with the new directory!