University of Wisconsin Badger Athletics Continues Disappointing Tradition of Ignoring Web Accessibility

Blog readers may recall my earlier writing about struggles with the online media experiences for streaming Badger athletic events. It is disappointing to this Badger alum and fan to once again have to point out that Wisconsin Athletics seems to show little care for web accessibility.

 

A posting from the Wisconsin Athletics (UWBadgersdotcom) twitter account earlier today said, “A @BadgerFootball game is better with family & friends. Check out great group tix packages that include free concessions. http://ow.ly/4zwVr.”

 

Well I’m always looking for good reasons to visit Wisconsin and the idea of a family outing at a Badger football game later this year captivated me. Sadly, following the link in this tweet leads to http://wisconsinfootball2011.com/, a web site that was clearly created with no attention to accessibility.

 

Using the latest release of multiple screen readers for Windows, you experience a web site that makes extensive use of Adobe’s Flash. You can read some buttons with labels including one titled Group Tickets. Presumably this is the one I’d want. Activating any of the buttons, including the previously mentioned Group Tickets button, fails to change the content that a screen reader reads from comments about the season this fall from head football coach Bret Belema. In addition, there are multiple buttons in this Flash content that have no labels for accessibility purposes.

 

It is common for Bielema to end interviews as he does in the statement on this web site with the phrase, “On, Wisconsin!”

 

Sadly I must add to this and say, “Shame on Wisconsin!” Shame on the university for ignoring both the legal and ethical responsibilities you have to take accessibility, including that for the web, seriously. This is not the first instance of such behavior. One can only hope it will be the last and that the university will institute policies and follow the same to ensure that accessibility is taken seriously.

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