The text-only software has been offered as a solution for converting table-based site layouts to text-only sites for accessibility purposes. UConn web templates created since March 2007 are built using DIVs instead of tables, so the software is no longer needed.
Due to this change, any University website built using a table-based layout or a UConn web template created prior to March 2007 must be updated before June 31, 2011. New sites should be built using DIVs and tables should only be used to present tabular data. We recommend customizing a UConn template using the Template Builder provided.All University websites are required to comply with state and federal accessibility guidelines.
The University of Connecticut utilizes LIFT Text Transcoder software to efficiently convert webpages with images, style, color and text into text-only sites. This software can be used on any webpage that is hosted on the University’s Central Webserver.
The ability to render webpages into a text–only format assists individuals with certain impairments or challenges that prevent them from viewing a webpage in its regular format. The text-only option also assists users who access UConn webpages via cell phones, PDAs or other portable electronic devices. The LIFT Text Transcoder will convert static webpages, dynamic pages (ex. php), pages with content, pages with forms, pages that are produced by a content management system and pages that are rendered from a database.
The following instructions apply to webmasters who maintain sites built using tables or older UConn sites that have not been updated since 2000.
Create a "Text Only" link in the footer of your webpage that points to the LIFT Text Transcoder. Use the code below.
Once installed, users can use the link to navigate to a text-only version of your site. They also have the option to return to your website’s regular format.
You may also choose to add a hidden text-only link at the beginning of your page. This hidden link will aid users with screen readers, PDAs, smart phones, or other electronic devices that do not process images. Use the code below to add a hidden link to your page. The hidden link is based on a spacer image. The image source attribute (img src) must point to a valid transparent image stored in your website files for the code to work properly.
Below is a list of recommendations for effective use of the LIFT Text Transcoder.
- Verify that your website is hosted on UConn’s Central Webserver. The University’s LIFT Text Transcoder license only covers sites that are hosted on the Central Webserver. Visit this site to learn how to have your webpage hosted on the University’s Central Webserver.
- Validate your HTML code. The LIFT Text Transcoder converts a webpage into a text-only version by eliminating the layout that is present on the original page and by hiding many accessibility defects. You may find that some of your pages do not convert as well as they should. This problem is likely the result of invalid HTML code in your webpages. Visit a free online validator to check your webpage.
- Review your webpage navigation. The LIFT Text Transcoder may also create navigation challenges for your webpage. For example, Macromedia Flash documents (SWF's) are stripped from pages that have been converted. If your webpage includes key navigational elements within a Flash document, users will not be able to navigate your website easily in the text-only format.
- Use the ALT attribute in your images and image links. ALT is short for alternate text. The alternate text for an image is typically shown when that particular image cannot be displayed or loaded. When your page is transcoded, your images and image links are replaced by their respective alternate text attributes. It is important that your images have alternate text so that all users have access to your pages.