We feel strongly that doing our best to make our site accessible to those with disabilities is the right thing to do. We've made an effort to ensure that our Web site is viewable by most browsers and is accessible to those with disabilities as well as to visitors with low-bandwidth internet connections. Although we are a research and service division of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT), we are also an agency of the executive branch of the State of New Mexico. While we are not subject to the section 508 rules that apply to federal agencies, we are subject to the Title II rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act that prohibits discrimination by state and local governments on the basis of disability for access to services, programs, or activities.
- We will employ stylesheets (CSS) to separate content from presentation and alternate stylesheets (see below) that present more accessible pages. The 'accessible style' will eliminate unnecessary graphics and provide skip navigation links to make browsing through menus less time consuming and repetitive for those using screen readers. Pages will degrade gracefully for those browsers that don't meet modern Web standards.
- HTML tags will be used to convey semantic meaning and the page will validate to the Document Type Definition (DTD) specified in the header of the page.
- Tables will only be used to present tabular information, and never used for purely visual formatting. They will include textual information displayed in a linear form across the table.
- We will not rely on proprietary technology for navigation or other essential features. However, where appropriate, we may include media that require proprietary plug-ins like Flash or Quicktime.
- Graphic images will have an "alt" tag, and a short description that can be intuitively understood by the user. If a graphic image is used as a navigation element, it will contain a text description and an indication of the link target that is intuitively understood by the user.
- Every graphic image that uses an image map will provide alternative text of the hyperlink or present the same links in a separate list..
- Links will be descriptive, intuitive, and avoid the use of vague references such as "click," "here," "link," or "this."
- Links to non-HTML resources like PDF files will have an indication of the file type and size.
- The use of frames will be avoided, as they cannot be read easily by all screen readers, create navigation and bookmark problems, and are not supported by all browsers.
New pages will adhere to these standards, but our site is large and has evolved over time, so older pages may not meet our current design standards. We are working to revise our older content. Technology and accessibility standards are evolving rapidly, so please let us know what we can do to make our site more accessible to you or if a particular page causes problems. We welcome any positive feedback regarding the accessibility of our Web site as well.
Several alternate style sheets are available for the pages in this site including one specifically intended for those with disabilities (see below). However, old visual browsers will see very plainly styled pages. Upgrading to a more modern standards-compliant browser is relatively painless and will improve your experience on the web.
Stylesheets that may be useful to those with disabilities
- A fluid layout without banner graphics that includes links to skip navigation. This layout is intended for those needing a more accessible page (this style is a variation of the 'Minimal' style).
- A minimalist fluid layout for those wanting a plainer look, a more accessible page, or a page style appropriate for the smallest screens (640 x 480 or smaller).
If you have difficulty changing styles, see our page on stylesheets and CSS. Please let us know if you have accessibilty issues or other comments about our site (click the 'comments' link at the bottom of this page).
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Section 508 Web site (of the Rehabilitation Act as amended for the Workforce Investment Act of 1998)
- Web Accessibility Guidelines (from the W3C)