Why My Web Pages Looks Like They Do
Since my web pages are intended for use in each class by all students, it is important that
all students are able to access the material. Certainly this is important for teaching and
learning, but it is also important ethically and legally. All students, whether they are financially
strapped and using old, lower bandwidth equipment, or if they are disabled, need to be able to
see and hear page contents. To better ensure access, I took a course in page design fromNorm Coombs through EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) which is part of the AAHE.
A guiding principle for accessibility is simplicity of design. I have tried to be careful of
color, and graphic use to ensure maximum accessibility and understand ability (e.g. minimal
use of animation and odd colors; inclusion of alternative forms of information such as text
versions of tables and alt text tags). As a result, the pages are less "jazzy" than some may
expect, but they are functional which is most important for my purposes. They are organized
in a simple fashion, too, that allows easy navigation by just using the "back" button on the
Another contributor to the "look" is that I wanted to see what I could do with the simplest
and most inexpensive applications available. I didn't want to be beholden to the university for
its site licensed applications (many of which I find are big and cumbersome and require a
steep learning curve). So all of my material has been done with freeware--everything from
the authoring application (Sea Monkey), to graphics (Open Clip Art Library),
to the ftp client (Filezilla), to the page reader I use to check out the readability of each
(Thunder) and Cynthia Says which checks page compliance with WAI standards.
I hope you find the pages useful. Any feedback you have regarding the pages such as ideas
for development, or snags you find when using them, will be valued.
Go to Accessibility Handout