Next Steps NH was a 2012-18 grant-funded project to increase the college and career readiness of New Hampshire students with disabilities and/or those at risk of dropping out of school. Project flyer (PDF, 2 pages)
An enduring outcome was the Transition Resource Portal, consisting of this website, the ELO website (beyondclassroom.org), a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The NH Department of Education has continued to fund the Transition Resource Portal since the grant funding concluded. Website flyer (PDF, 1 page, 2018)
The New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, was awarded a State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) for this project from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, for the years 2012-2017 (plus a one year extension).
The Next Steps NH project leadership team included people from:
- New Hampshire Department of Education
- Evergreen Evaluation and Consulting, Inc.
- Granite State Independent Living (GSIL)
- Keene State College
- Monadnock Developmental Services
- North Country Educational Services (NCES) (through June 30, 2016)
- Parent Information Center
- Plymouth State University
- QED Foundation
- Strafford Learning Center
- UNH Institute on Disability
Our original grant stipulated that Next Steps NH web content would follow Priority Level 1 checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and Section 508 standards for web-based Internet information/applications, which are based in part on the WAI Guidelines. The manual and automatic procedures used to evaluate the site will follow those recommended by the Web Accessibility Initiative. We now strive to achieve WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
A basic test for any webpage is to try it with a screen reader, or to imagine how information would be read by one. We also look at how a user would navigate without using a mouse or tracking pad.
Some short videos that explain different elements of web accessibility:
- Web Accessibility 101: Web Headings for Screen Readers
- Web Accessibility 101: Screen Magnification Design Challenges: Forms
- Web Accessibility 101: Effective Color Contrast
- Web Accessibility 101: Screen Magnification & Reflow in Acrobat Reader
The page title is descriptive of what is on that page. This helps search engines find the page as well.
Page titles are always heading level H1 and we do not use H1 for anything else. In most cases we start page headings with H2, and progress down as necessary, dropping only one level at a time. For example, we do not skip from an H2 to an H4 tag. If any level of header text is too large or too small, we manually adjust it on that particular page in the WordPress editor, while still keeping the same heading level for a screen reader.
Web pages often use colors to provide visual clues. We make sure that when colors are used to convey either navigational or content information, we provide another means of conveying information that does not rely on color.
Colors we use: headings green #008000, body text #3a3a3a
We try to use images only for decorative purposes. If the image holds content, either we will include the content in the page text, or in an alt text tag. Decorative images do not have alt tags.
Abbreviations and acronyms require care to be accessible. When used in text (as opposed to title or image attributes) you can use an element in the HTML. A simple example is referencing Next Steps NH – the title or image attribute for the page (not necessarily what is seen) should be spelled out as New Hampshire.
Next Steps NH
will display as Next Steps NH, but the abbreviation will be recognized as such by a reader, and the title read as New Hampshire.
We use WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) as a quick check of a page. You simply enter the URL of the page you want to review.
Accessibility and Usability at Penn State has great resources for creating accessible materials, including websites.
WebAIM’s WCAG 2.0 Checklist is WebAIM’s interpretation of WCAG guidelines with recommended techniques for following those guidelines. This is not an official checklist.
This website is maintained by Betsy Street and Steve Bigaj in the School of Arts, Education and Humanities at Keene State College. Please contact us with any questions or suggestions. We are continually updating and improving it.