Update on the Hope Blog Network

We’re excited to share a few things in the works for Hope blogs. As we continue our work with compliance and web accessibility, we’ll soon introduce a revised design and other enhancements to the entire Hope College Blog Network. Although this is not a full redesign, it will include a new color palette and other style elements that emphasize better contrast and legibility.

We’ve also added a new custom byline for posts that include the author and date and appears between the post title and body. To customize the name of the author, use the custom field “custom_byline.”

The design improvements will be rolled out this week, so let us know if you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right, and we’ll look into it right away. You can report problems to the Web Communications team at web@hope.edu.

Additionally, the update will include a brand-new blogs.hope.edu homepage, which will feature highlighted blog posts and an easier way to navigate the blog directory.

Finally for our blog admins, in either mid-December 2018 or early January 2019, we plan to host a lunch-and-learn about the Hope blog network. We’ll discuss these new changes, provide insights about WordPress features and engaging blog page design, and just give admins an opportunity to share ideas with each other and us. We’ve not done this in a while so it will be a great time to come together as blog administrators.

Let us know what you think of the updated theme!

A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme
A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme

Web Accessibility Training video and presentation materials

Thank you to those of you who were able to join us for our Web Accessibility Training session in August! For those of you who were unable to attend or would like a refresher, below are links to a video of the presentation as well as the presentation materials.

Thank you for your support in making the Hope College website accessible to all of our visitors! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.

Accessibility Updates Coming to hope.edu

You may be aware of the ongoing efforts to address website accessibility as it pertains to the Hope College website (hope.edu) and our other web properties. In addition to the new Web Accessibility Policy and Web Accessibility Training recently offered, we will soon be introducing a revised design and other enhancements to the Hope website to address several issues related to color contrast and further optimizing the site to be used more effectively by screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Tip: if you notice a hope.edu webpage not loading correctly, try clearing your browser’s cache

You’ll notice these design improvements taking place in the coming days and weeks. Please note that web content editors will not be required to take additional steps to implement these updates to your department websites, as long as your site is using the new template. If you do notice something that does not seem to be functioning correctly, please let us know right away.

We always welcome your questions and feedback as we work to make the Hope website an inclusive and accessible space for all of our visitors.

The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new Hope College Calendar design
The new Hope College Calendar design

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