Copyright and ADA Compliance



Searching the Internet for information, graphics, or ideas is very helpful in creating your own web pages.  But, care must be taken when “borrowing” from the Internet.  Publishing to the Internet is similar to publishing a book or article.  You become an author.  You have copyright laws to protect your information.  Other web authors also have the same copyright laws to protect them.  Usually there is some type of Users permission, non-permission, or disclaimer stated on Web sites.  Permission must first be given before you can use their ideas, information, or graphics. 


Many web designers like to borrow images from the Internet to insert into their own web page.  Even if there is no copyright statement on the web page of the author from which you will borrow the graphics, permission must be given to use it in your web page.  This can be a simple link back to the original author’s web site, statement of authorship, or by emailing the author.  If the author returns your email, save it.  Print a hard copy and keep it on file.  Many times, the author will give permission especially if the information or graphics are used on a secure site such as WebCT and/or for educational purposes. 


Copyright laws are too intensive to state for this workshop.  However, you can visit the web site for the U.S. Copyright Office to learn more and ensure you are complying with the law. 


When creating your own web page and you feel that your information should not be used by others, place a statement of copyright either at the end of your web page or the beginning of your web page.  This will inform others that they must receive permission to use your information. 


Making Your Web Page ADA Compliant


Use of the Internet is increasing significantly.  When creating a web page that will be published to the Internet, all audiences must be considered.  This includes the visually challenged and others with impairments.   Visually challenged individuals use Screen Readers.  A screen reader such as Jaws or Dragon Speaking will read the text of the web page from the monitor screen.  Your web page should be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act for web page design. 


There are some simple rules to follow to ensure your web page is ADA compliant.

  1. Avoid excessive graphics
  2. Make sure the web page is easily readable and not “busy”
  3. Provide alternative text to graphics
  4. Provide Captions for tables
  5. Avoid phases such as “Click here to email me”  Instead, use simple sentences such as “Feel free to email me”
  6. Avoid light color text
  7. Avoid dark, graphic intense, or black backgrounds
  8. Do not use very small fonts


Adding Alternative Text to Graphics Using Netscape Composer


  1. Open web page in Netscape Composer
  2. Place mouse cursor over image then Click 1X with the right mouse button
  3. A pop-up window will appear
  4. Click 1X on Image Properties



  1. The Image Properties pop-up window will appear
  2. Near the bottom of the window a button labeled Alt Text/LowRes
  3. Click the button
  4. Give the image a simple relevant name.



  1. Once your have name the graphic, click Apply
  2. Save the web page.


Adding a Caption to a Table


  1. Open web page in Netscape Composer
  2. Place the mouse cursor in one of the table cells
  3. Click 1X with the right mouse button
  4. A pop-up window will appear
  5. Select Table Properties



  1. The Table Properties pop-up window will appear
  2. Select Include Caption
  3. Also select the radio button for caption to be Above the table



  1. Click Apply
  2. A dashed border cell will appear above the table in the web page.



  1.  Type a descriptive caption for the table.  The caption will not appear with the table when viewed on the Internet.  By moving the mouse cursor over the table, the caption will appear and will then be readable by the Reader program.


Testing Your Web Page for Compliance


There is an Internet web site that will test your web page to determine if it is compliant with ADA web page design standards or WAI  (Web Accessibility Initiative).  The web site is Bobby CAST.  This site will test your web page for all priorities of WAI. 


WAI (Web Accessility Initiative) provides the guidelines for web authors in accordance with W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) protocols for universal access.  There are 3 levels of priority with Level 1 priority compliance being the most important. 



To Test Your Web Site:

  1. Go to the Bobby CAST web site (
  2. Type in the URL for your web page site.
  3. Click Submit



  1. Once submitted, your web page will appear with questions marks



  1. Below your web page, there will be an explanation of each priority and whether errors were found for that priority.
  2. If there are no Priority 1 errors, your web page can be considered WAI compliant.



  1. If there are no Priority 1 errors, a Bobby Approved icon can be placed on your web page letting others know that your web page is in compliance with WAI protocol.
  2. After inserting the Bobby Approved icon, you must link it to the Bobby CAST home page.