HowlRound Theatre Commons’ goal is to conform to and surpass the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at the AA level. By following the WCAG, we can make web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including people who are blind or have low vision; are deaf or have hearing loss; have brain-based, mobility, or speech disabilities; have photosensitivity; or have more than one disability. This is a work in progress.
If there is information currently, however, that is not fully accessible to individual community members, they can request additional services for any piece of content on a case-by-case basis.
We have been working closely with the Institute for Human Centered Design, based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to make this website inclusive, as well as to train our staff in inclusion in day-to-day communication practices.
We plan to make an ongoing effort in this process to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities within our theatre community, to educate our field, and to be a positive influence in our theatre community’s current and future practices.
Levels of Conformance
There are five requirements to meet in order to conform with WCAG.
The first requirement is to meet, in full, a level of conformance: Level A satisfies all criteria for a minimum level of conformance; Level AA (higher level of conformance) satisfies all criteria for Levels A and AA; and Level AAA (highest level of conformance) satisfies all criteria for Levels A, AA, and AAA.
The other four requirements require that full web pages and complete processes to be accessible; information and functionality are provided through web content technologies (e.g., HTML, CSS) that are accessibility-supported; and technologies that are not accessibility-supported cannot interfere with the ability to access the same information that is accessibility supported.
Where We Are Now
Our website redevelopment work that launched in October 2018 enabled us to work toward conformity with WCAG 2.1. Conforming to WCAG 2.1 at the AA level is an on-going effort since we are continuously adding new content to the website and have a large backlog of images, video, and audio since 2011 that needs to be made more accessible.
Schedule of Ongoing Work
- Currently, all images have alternative text.
- A selection of our video archive hosted on YouTube has human-made closed captions.
- A selection of our podcasts has transcripts, and all new podcasts will have transcripts.
- We will provide captions for videos and transcripts for podcasts on individual request and then also post those accessible versions to the website for general use.