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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

This section of the Web Accessibility site will contain an unordered list of FAQ's received by the Purdue community.

Please check back often as we will be performing updates as questions are submitted.

Find information about

Policy-related frequently asked questions are now located on the Office of Institutional Equity web site.

General Web Accessibility FAQ

Q. What is the best way to get started on making my web pages accessible?

A. On our Resources page there are a couple web applications and toolbars which can help show you which parts of the page currently are not accessible. Focus on the WAVE online evaluation tool and the WAVE Firefox toolbar plugin or AIS Internet Explorer toolbar plugin. Please note that a passing grade while using these toolbars does not mean your pages are in compliance with the policy, they are just a means to get started making your pages more accessible.

Q. How do I get captions to play in Windows Media Player v11?

A. Place the .wmv media file and the .smi caption file in the same folder. Make sure that the base names for the two files are exactly the same. Check the following settings in Windows Media Player. These two settings must be set properly for captions to work.

  • Under the Play menu, set Lyrics, Captions and Subtitles to “On if available”
  • Under the Tools menu, select Options, select Security tab, then click the checkbox to "Show local captions when present"
  • Click Apply, then OK. You must exit Windows Media Player and relaunch before captions will be displayed

A blog article tutorial is available online called Showing Captions in Windows Media Player.

Q. Why are repetitive navigational links a problem?

A. Some assistive technologies need to present the content of the web page in a linear fashion.  This makes it difficult or impossible for the end user of these technologies to skip around the page.  If the navigation links are at the top or left of all of the pages in a site the user of these assistive technologies would need to read or listen to, all of the navigation links each time a new page is loaded.  Experienced users of the assistive technology find reading through all of these repeated links aggravating.  Users who are newer to the assistive technology frequently become confused about whether the contents of the page are even changing when a link is selected.

Web Templates

Q. Are accessible website templates mandated by this policy?

A. The policy requires the final output from the templates to be accessible. If the templates themselves are not accessible, it will increase the odds of the output not being accessible.

Q. What if the templates I receive are not accessible?

A. Please contact the department or person(s) in charge of creating the template and notify them of the Web Accessibility Policy. Let them know that you cannot edit the templates to make them accessible, and ask that they do.

Q. What if I can make the templates accessible myself?

A. If you are in charge of the template, please do so. Otherwise, please contact the department or person(s) who created the template. Chances are that other units across campus may be using the same template. It would be best if the creators made the accessibility changes and reissued the template.

Technical Questions

Q. How do I implement skip navigation?

A. Place a link before the navigation on your site. Then, have that text link to an anchor that is placed just before the main content.

You can then use CSS to hide the link for skipping content, but the screen reader will still read it and allow the user to skip the navigational block. The recommended way to do this would be to keep the link visible, but use absolute positioning to move the link off to the side of the browser.

HTML example:

<a class=”skip” href="#content">Skip to content</a>

<!--navigational links go here-->

<a name="content"></a>
<!--content goes here-->

CSS example:

a.skip {

Q. How do I use DIV tags and CSS floats to create a layout instead of using tables?

A. Please refer to the links below for more information:

Q. I have some narrated PowerPoint presentations on my site. What should I do about the accessibility of these presentations?

A. If a script was written to create the narration, then it could be posted along with the PP presentation. If no script is available, does the PP file have notes that go with each slide? (Notes are usually used by the presenter and not seen by the audience viewing the PP slides.)

Regarding notes, the Microsoft Office web site states:

"Because audience needs and computer equipment varies, consider accompanying your narration with notes. This benefits anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing or whose computer lacks a sound card. If you save the presentation as a Web page (.htm file), the notes will appear beneath each slide as it displays. If you save it as a presentation (.ppt) file, you can print out the notes and make them available to your audience."


If notes are included in the presentation, the "equality" of the notes versus the audio must be judged. If either the slide itself or the notes contain the important information spoken in the narration, then that should be sufficient. If important information is missing, then it must be added to the slide or the notes.

If the presentation is posted as a (.ppt) file, we strongly encourage you to add a sentence or two on the page stating that the notes are available. That will allow those who need or want to use them to find them. The statement could be something along the lines of "Slide notes are available for each slide in the presentation. The notes can be printed when the PowerPoint file is open."