Last updated: June 2021

Accessibility Statement


Rice University's Digital Information Accessibility Policy states that all the University public web pages and content must be web accessible. Because content on Rice University's Digital Scholarship Archive (RDSA) is made public, it falls under this policy. This includes providing PDFs with OCR text and tags, descriptions for images and other non-text content, transcriptions for audio content and captions for videos.

In addition to supporting accessibility standards and university policy, accessibly designed digital resources offer benefits for all users, including improved discoverability, searching, and indexing of content. For examples, see ways closed captions benefit everyone.

Assessment approach

Fondren Library is committed to ensuring digital resources provided on the RDSA website are sustainably accessible to everyone.

  • We will test and apply the relevant parts of the WCAG to our website and content.
  • We use the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) to annually check the site and common pages. And perform accessibility checks after software and security updates or changes to the site architecture.Testing is done using the browsers Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Contact us

We welcome your feedback on RDSA's accessibility. If you encounter accessibility issues or would like to request accessibility-related assistance, please email us at You can find additional support including instructional webinars at Access @ Rice Blog and accessibility guides.

How accessible is this website?

We strive to pass all accessibility checks and standards for the functionality of the site, but there may be some advanced content display features and archived, primary source materials that will not pass WCAG guidelines. Please let us know if you encounter archived materials that contain accessibility barriers and we will provide assistance processing these materials in alternative formats if possible.

Some content of this website are not fully accessible:

  • Most older PDF documents, including scans of handwritten text from our special collections and earlier Rice University thesis and dissertations, are not fully accessible or presented as image-only PDFs.
  • PDF Documents that are provided to us as is by our partners may or may not include accessibility-related features.
  • We are in the process of adding captions to legacy content such as audio and video recordings and transcriptions for images of handwritten texts. If the item you need is not captioned or transcribed yet, please submit a request to

Content Guidelines

To ensure equitable access to born-digital or digitized content, digital resources and accompanying materials (translations, etc.) must be delivered in accessible formats and augmented with adequate descriptive metadata to enable and facilitate equitable discovery and use of the digitized content. Content submitted to the repository after October 31, 2020, should follow the below guidelines.

Text-based content

Digitized text-based media must be provided in an accessible format, either tagged PDFs following basic PDF accessibility techniques or created using the PDF/UA standard, HTML following current WCAG standards, or as scanned images with an accompanying text file transcript.

Image-based content

All image-based content must minimally have alternative text, usually provided in the metadata description field. The type of image should be identified and described in line with W3C WAI image accessibility guidelines. For tips on describing images see WCAG's An alt Decision Tree.

Audio content

Audio-based content must be accompanied by an accessible textual transcript that is at least 98% accurate. For tips see Making Audio and Video Media Accessible.

Video (moving images) content

Video-based content may be open or closed captioned. If closed captioned, the text should be provided in a separate file that can be offered as a text transcript in SRT or VTT format. For captions to be effective, they must be at least 98% accurate. Audiovisual materials that may trigger photosensitive epilepsy (see WCAG success criteria 2.3.1 and 2.3.2) must have a trigger warning notice. For more tips see Making Audio and Video Media Accessible and Best Practices for Captioning Educational Video.


Some content on this page is based on:

What is not included in this statement

This accessibility statement applies to site. What is not addressed are hosted sites that are managed by Digital Scholarship Services, for accessibility status of these sites please see Fondren Publishing Services.