Interesting social media posts from the BRIDGE2health project, Autumn 2023

Here are some interesting recent social media posts from the BRIDGE2health project that studies intergenerational mentoring. Some of the posts might be of interest to faculty in the human sciences. The project has sites operated by Ohio State Extension (in Cuyahoga county) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (in Amherst county).

12/13/2023 – Australian Association of Gerontology conference
11/21/2023 – Collaborations on intergenerational strategies to meet community needs
11/9/2023 – Youth art challenge
11/6/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #10
11/4/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #9
10/30/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #8 (Intergenerational Contact Measure)
10/27/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #7 (Loneliness and Resiliency)
10/24/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #6 (Life Skills)
10/20/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #5 (Social Connections)
10/16/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #4 (Intro to the Scales)
10/11/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #3 (Evaluation)
10/7/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #2 (Demographics)
10/6/2023 – E4 Center for Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging
10/3/2023 – Cohort One Series Post #1 (General Overview)
10/1/2023 – International Day of Older Persons


Fixing a broken skip nav accessibility error

The Ohio State navbar contains a hidden skip nav link that jumps to an anchor called “page-content”.  This skip link is hidden visually (through CSS) but available for those using screen readers to use to skip the other Ohio State navbar links and go straight to a page’s content.  A review by the WAVE tool will report if the skip nav anchor is missing from a page. To correct a broken skip nav link, add an anchor near the start of your page’s main content. Here are some examples of possible anchors:

  • <a name=”page-content” id=”page-content”> – The ‘name’ attribute works in HTML 4 and the ‘id’ attribute in HTML 5.
  • <div id=”page-content”>  – In HTML 5 the ‘id’ attribute can be placed in a lot of different elements, such as a <div> or <main>.

Some more information about using anchors in HTML is available from W3 Schools. See the info about the HTML <a> name Attribute.

The WebAIM organization has some more information about “Skip Navigation” Links in their site.

List of top medical schools ranked by patient care

  1. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  2. University of California–San Francisco School of Medicine
  3. University of California–Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
  4. Baylor College of Medicine — Huston, Texas
  5. Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine
  6. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor Medical School
  7. University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine
  8. University of Colorado School of Medicine
  9. University of California–Davis School of Medicine
  10. Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  1. University of Louisville School of Medicine
  2. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Recommended tables settings for CK-editor

The CK-editor WYSIWYG editor, used in content management systems like WordPress 4 or Drupal 8, has all the tools you need to create an accessible data table. Some key things it remember are to keep your tables simple. Don’t create a more complex design with cells crossing into other columns. Also be sure to specify a header row. This is most commonly the first row. Below are some good settings to use with CK-editor in Drupal 8.

Suggested CK-editor settings for good accessibility

  • Width: 100% —> yields: style=”width: 100%;”
  • Cell Spacing: 0
  • Cell Padding: 0
  • Border size: 0
  • Headers: First Row – it does wrap the < th > row with < thead >
  • Alignment: not set
  • Caption: include descriptive text, could be same as the title of the table.
  • Summary: include descriptive text, could be same as the title of the table.

General accessible data table tips/guidelines:

  • be sure to specify the First Row as the Header row (CK-editor will add the < th > and < thead > wrapper behind the scenes).
  • To further enhance markup of the columns, add scope=”col” to the . For example: <th scope=”col”>. If the table was turned on it’s side it would be scope=”row”.
  • keep table design basic, don’t span a cell into another row
  • don’t embed tables inside tables
  • include a descriptive Caption if the table doesn’t have a title/heading. The
    can be visually hidden with CSS, but made available to screen-reader users.

Adding a node ID as class to the body tag in Drupal 8

One thing I discovered recently in my college’s Drupal 8 site was that the node number CSS class that used to be applied to the <body> tag was missing. In Drupal 7 there was a unique node ID class and it looked sort of like this:

<body class=”html not-front not-logged-in no-sidebars page-node page-node- page-node-8471 node-type-article news-newsreleases context-news”>

Having this unique node number CSS class was useful for cases when specific pages needed custom styles applied.

By default, Drupal 8 seems to add no such class to pages. To get them back I added a snippet of code I found on a post. I found it was easiest to use:

* Implements hook_preprocess_html().
function themename_preprocess_html(&$variables) {
if ($node = \Drupal::request()->attributes->get(‘node’)) {
$variables[‘attributes’][‘class’][] = ‘page-node-‘ . $node->id();

in my theme’s sitetheme.theme file.

There is also a Node Class module that might help accomplish the same objective, adding unique CSS classes to a page. It’s a simple module that allows users to add custom CSS classes to any node through the node/add interface.

After adding the snippet of code above to my sitetheme.theme file I was able to target a faculty profile page that needed custom styling. Previously, without a unique CSS class, there no way to target that specific page.

The value of including PDF and other types of download indicators on hyperlinks

When it comes to link text the W3C recommendations say: “clearly identify the target of each link” to aid users in deciding weather they want to follow a link or not. A well written article about Links and accessibility goes into more detail about giving all users the context to decide by including description text and download indicators.

Usability testing has shown that site visitors hate unexpected downloads. When there’s no text indication on whether a hyperlink goes to another webpage or downloads a file, visitors can end up downloading a huge file eating up their mobile data allowance and taking focus away from what they were doing.  That Links and Accessibility article recommends that the type of download and size be indicated in parentheses after the hyperlink text to aid people on whether or not to follow the link. For example a descriptive link could look like:
Another technique is to add a PDF or Word icon instead of the text of a download link, but it’s important to make sure the icon has descriptive ALT text. Icons added via CSS or other automated techniques can be missed by people user screen readers.
That Links and Accessibility article I reference in this post probably has the best description about why it’s important to let site visitors know what content a link goes to. It also describes why empty links are a bad practice, a link with no text at all gives no context to non-visual users on what the link is for or where it goes.
At Ohio State, a former Arts & Science web CMS contributor trainer (Drupal trainer) from ACS Communications recommended adding PDF indicators on hyperlinks in her adding links accessibility training video on YouTube. Unfortunately the importance of adding ‘(PDF)’ on hyperlinks it’s well known and many significant web projects have over looked it. By researching and writing about this topic I’m attempting to educate others and perhaps make the web a little more usable.
Here are some other accessibility resources from  ACS Communications:
Wild, Gian. Links and Accessibility. AccessibilityOz, 2014. Available at:

Fixing empty links that find their way into websites

It’s easy to correct missing alt tags on images but some accessibility errors, like empty links,  are more mysterious and ease to overlook. Sometime copying and pasting new code, such as code for social icons or links from a 3rd party, can unwittingly bring in empty links into a website.

I thought my website was mostly free from errors but I looked again (using the WAVE tool from WebAIM) and found that some new social icons that had been added actually were empty links. To fix these I added descriptive link text between the opening and close <a> tags and visually hid the text with a CSS class. That way my social icons still looked the visually the same but included actual text aiding non-visual users context to know what the links are about. 

This Links & Accessibility article also says “do not have broken or empty links” because having an empty links give no context to allow a screen reader user to know what the link is about. Sometimes designers make an empty link visually to look like a button by adding a background image via CSS styles.
I recently noticed that the website of a computing center at a major university had several empty links in their website header and footer. The university’s logo was an empty link because instead of the logo being an inline image, it was actually a background image, added through CSS, on a empty <a> tag. To fix this empty link error they could add “ACME University” link text and visually hide it for sighted users, if desired. Then a screen reader user could still have context to know what the link is for and the page could have the visual look desired by marketers.

Ohio State Drupal Users Group Meeting – March 22, 2018

The Ohio State Drupal Users Group is having its March 2018 meeting in 141 Sullivant Hall (the Collaboratory) on Thursday, March 22, 2018, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. One of the topics of discussion with be Drupal site hosting, which will probably get into hosting on cloud platforms like Pantheon or Acquia. The university also runs a hosting service that’s available for Ohio State Colleges and Departments to use. The OCIO hosting service offers some Drupal-specific information about installing, backing up, and restoring Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 websites. In Drupal 8, drush commands can be used to create backups and migrate a site from a development account to a production account. Cloud hosting services, like Pantheon or Acquia, also offer DEv, Test, and Live (production) environments and methods to move (deploy) site data between them.


There is a Sullivant Hall Collaboratory and Rotunda Reservation Request form available that other groups from the university can use to reserve that space.


Understanding Responsive Breakpoints

In responsive design it’s possible to set up breakpoints in the CSS (cascading style sheets) to different sized screens such as mobile, tablets and desktop. These are added in special CSS rules called ‘media queries’. A media query is a CSS technique first introduced in CSS3. Below are some examples of media queries, the first applying to screens below a width of 990px (about tablet sized) and the second applying to screens  below a width of 600px (about mobile sized).  Style rules would be added between the trailing brackets as shown.
/* apply style rules to screens below 960px wide, about tablet width */
@media only screen and (max-width: 990px) { /* add CSS rules for this screen size here */ }
/*  apply style rules to screens below 600px wide, about mobile width */
@media only screen and (max-width: 600px) {  /* add CSS rules for this screen size here */ }
Ideally web designers should strive for a flexible design that adapts to just about any screen size, but it can be conceptually beneficial to define mobile, tablets and desktop. These are points where elements of the layout can change, like columns stacking instead of being next to each other.
To learn more about responsive design and media queries see these articles:
Media Queries for Standard Devices – from CSS Tricks – 10/9/17

Steps to better structure an InDesign document to promote accessibility

Better structure in PDF documents helps readers with visual disabilities and also has SEO benefits. HTML document structural concepts are now pervasive across many formats like Word & PDF so it’s important for content authors/contributors to be familiar with methods of doc structuring. Adding paragraph styles for heading and specifying heading tags can aid in better structuring an InDesign document to promote document accessibility. Adding alternative text descriptions to all photos in a document is another important practice to enhance accessibility.

Create Paragraph Styles:

Go to the ‘Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles’ panel to start setting up paragraph styles for your normal paragraphs and heading levels (such as H1, H2, and H3). There is typically just one heading level 1, H1, in a page as the page title. A normal paragraph is typically nested within one or more headings.
To create a new paragraph style for a heading:
– Add a text frame with the size and font style you want for that level of heading. Heading 1s typical have the largest font size.
– In the ‘Paragraph Style’ panel choose ‘New Paragraph Style’ from the arrow menu.
– Give it a name like ‘Heading 4 Style’. It takes on the font style characteristics of the text frame you had select.
To give a normal paragraph text frame a heading style select that frame and click on one of the heading styles you created.

Setup Structural Tags:

To setup structural tags in your InDesign document:
– Go to ‘View > Utilities > Tags’ to open the Tags panel.
– Choose ‘New Tag’ from the arrow menu.
– Give the tag a name like ‘H4’.
To tag a heading frame (frame with a heading paragraph style applied):
– Select the heading text frame.
– Click the heading tag (such as H4) you want it to be in the tags panel from the heading tags you created. You will be able to see which text frame have tags applied in the ‘View Structure’ panel.
Other tag-related tips:
– Go to ‘View > Structure > View Structure’ to view the document hierarchy structure branching off from the ‘Root’.
– Go to ‘View > Structure > Show Tagged Frames’ to visually color-code your tagged frames. In my example document, H1s were red, H2s were green, and H3s were blue. Normal paragraphs, P, were just light gray.

Adding Alt Text to Images in InDesign:

It’s important for all photos in a document to have alternative text descriptions. You can add alternative text to images, graphics, or photos by using the ‘Object Export Options’ panel.
To add alternative text to an image in InDesign:
– Select the object/photo that you want to add alternative text to.
– Go to:’Object > Object Export Options’
– Enter alternative text for the object/photo you selected in the ‘Alt Text’ tab. It’s possible to set custom alt text for an image or choose text from a structural tag previously applied.
– Choose ‘Custom’ from the menu to enter custom alternative text for the photo.
For more information about creating good accessibility in InDesign documents see Adobe’s documentation or watch the video, Preparing InDesign Files for Accessibility.
Document accessibility related panels in InDesign

Document accessibility related panels in InDesign