About Us

Project Description

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). Next Steps NH page on NH Department of Education website

Project Partners

The Next Steps NH project leadership team included people from:

Website Usage Infographic

Mar 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018 (PDF of Infographic)

Accessibility Practices

All Next Steps NH web content follows 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 and will be continually reviewed.

This page describes some of our practices.

A basic test for any webpage is to try it with a screen reader, or to imagine how information would be read by one. Also try using the page with just the keyboard, no mouse.

Some short videos that explain different elements of  web accessibility:

Page title

When creating a new page, be sure that the title is descriptive of what is on that page. This will help search engines find the page as well.

Headings

Six size levels of headings can be used to establish a hierarchy of information on a page.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Always start with the page title and render it heading level H1. Do not use H1 for anything else. In most cases start page headings with H2, and progress down as necessary. Always drop down only one level at a time. For example, do not skip from an H2 to an H4 tag. If any level of header text is too large or too small, you can manually adjust it on that particular page in the WordPress editor, while still keeping the same heading level for a screen reader. 

Colors

Web pages often use colors to provide visual clues. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact you don’t need to  diminish the aesthetic qualities of a page to be in compliance. Rather, be aware that anytime colors are used to convey either navigational or content information, you need to provide another means of conveying information that does not rely on color. Depending on the situation, this can be done by effective language in the title tags, or ensuring that the text adequately conveys the information and that the images are supplemental. In the case of colors presented as embedded images, the WordPress image editor provides a field for alt and title information.

Colors we use: headings green #2b812b, body text dark grey #333333

Images

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.

Links

We are phasing out use of hover descriptions (mouse-overs) since they do not work on mouse-less devices.

PDFs

Like web pages, there are techniques for making PDFs easier to navigate for individuals with vision impairments. This primarily involves tagging PDFs, which means using  Adobe Acrobat. How to reflow a PDF to avoid horizontal scrolling. More information on accessible PDFs.

Abbreviations

The subject of abbreviations and acronyms relative to accessibility is complex. 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.

Example:
<p>Next Steps <abbr title="New Hampshire">NH<abbr></p>
will display as
Next Steps NH, but the abbreviation will be recognized as such by a reader, and the title read accordingly.

Check yourself

To check the accessibility of a website, go to WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool), where you simply enter the URL of the page you want to review.

More information

Website accessibility toolkit, developed by Easter Seals

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.

Tutorials from gsa.gov on making online electronic content accessible, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint,  and PDFs.

Compilation of tools to help review a site, find errors and correct them, from section508.gov

Contact Us

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.

Updated 12-9-2019

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, H323A120003. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Corinne Weidenthal.