SUNY Cortland’s website is an important campus resource, often providing a visitor’s first look at the campus. It is one of the College’s primary tools for communicating with key audiences and presenting its public image.
The information contained in the Communication Guide is intended to promote the appropriate use of this medium and to enhance the College’s mission, vision and strategic initiatives.
A content management system (CMS) is a web application that offers campus community members an easy, efficient and consistent way to create, update, publish and archive information on the web.
The CMS makes it possible for almost anyone to easily manage web content without knowing HTML or other web development tools.
Yes. With very basic training you will be able to edit your pages in a simple browser-based editor that's similar to Microsoft Word.
Sign up for a training session for an overview of using dotCMS, or to refresh your knowledge in dotCMS and best practices for web content.
For the sake of uniformity, usability and accessibility, you will need to use the CMS. You will be able to edit your pages from any computer connected to the internet without worrying about saving your work to your computer. Also, you'll never have to be concerned about software upgrades or compatibility issues.
For a review of frequently used dotCMS functions, visit SUNY Cortland's dotCMS reference guide. If you have not already been trained in dotCMS and best practices for web content, you will need to schedule training to gain access to dotCMS.
Web accessibility refers to making web content available and readable to all users, including those with disabilities such as sight or hearing impairments.
SUNY Cortland is committed to providing all its constituents full access to information, programs and activities offered through the web. This effort is pursuant to both New York State policy and federal law, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
An estimated 20 percent of the population in the United States has some kind of disability. Accessible websites also benefit users with older browsers and may improve the site's search engine ranking.
Video content with synchronized audio requires closed captions, and sometimes descriptive audio. Audio content without synchronized video typically requires a descriptive transcript. Visit the accessibility section of the Promotional Video Guide for more information.
The SUNY Cortland web presence consists of hundreds of sites that are managed and maintained by the individual departments and sponsoring organizations. The quickest way to have a web accessibility issue addressed is to contact the owner of the site directly. If the problem remains unresolved, please send notification using our Website Accessibility Feedback Form.
SUNY Cortland’s website is an official communication tool of the College designed for sharing information with the campus community and its constituents.
SUNY Cortland’s Web Policy applies to information: (1) published on servers owned by SUNY Cortland; (2) published within the SUNY Cortland cortland.edu domain; and (3) published elsewhere under direction or control of a SUNY Cortland department, organization or individual, where the contents are identified as SUNY Cortland information.
In many instances, SUNY Cortland’s website is governed by the same policies that regulate similar operations across the College, such as campus advertising policies in the College Handbook, style guidelines in the SUNY Cortland Communication Guide and the Code of Student Conduct. Policies that are specific to use of the website are found in this document.
The website will reflect the College’s mission and strategic plan as well as the goals and objectives that emanate from these initiatives.
The content presented on the website will be accurate, timely and responsive to SUNY Cortland’s key audiences. It also will meet the standards articulated in the College’s Communication Guide.
SUNY Cortland has a legal and moral imperative to ensure that its website and webpages on its servers attempt to meet every standard established by New York State’s Office for Technology.
While the College’s official web templates handle most accessibility issues, assistance will be provided to individuals and programs to bring new and/or existing content into compliance. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to temporarily remove content while revising it so that it conforms.
The ability to add content to the College’s website by faculty, staff and students is considered a privilege, not a right, and users must abide by College policies and procedures.
Failure to conform with any College policy applicable to the website may result in the immediate loss of the ability to publish content on the web.
The College’s website is managed through a content management system (CMS). Individuals who publish information will be expected to work within the CMS.
Academic departments, administrative offices and student organizations are required to use the official web template for their page(s) when technically feasible. Web templates are located in the College’s content management system.
Department and administrative office heads are responsible for their unit’s web content. Each department or office shall designate one individual to be responsible for maintaining the accuracy and timeliness of website information and for ensuring that their unit’s webpage adheres to all relevant College policies. This individual also must acquire training related to creating and maintaining their website.
Students may develop websites for their clubs and organizations. Faculty and staff advisors to student organizations are responsible for those organizations’ webpages, while the Student Affairs Office is responsible for the content of any webpages developed by the Student Government Association.
A personal webpage is defined as a webpage for any SUNY Cortland individual faculty member, staff member or student that contains information of a personal nature unrelated to their responsibilities at the College and to which a link has been established from an official College page.
The Web Advisory Team (WAT) is appointed by SUNY Cortland’s president. This committee advises on issues related to the College’s website as well as broader concerns relevant to the web.
The WAT is responsible for developing policies, standards and procedures to ensure consistency and compliance throughout the College’s website.
The WAT proposes recommendations to the College president and the President’s Cabinet for review and approval. The WAT also serves as an initial contact point and clearinghouse for policy matters regarding the College’s website.
For more information regarding the College’s advertising policy, refer to the College Handbook.
Social media has become a daily part of professional and personal lives. SUNY Cortland encourages the use of social media as a way to promote programs and activities. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others help inform students, employees, alumni and fans of events and newsworthy information. It is a fantastic way to connect and engage audiences.
If you haven’t already, register your social media site.
These tools that we have come to use and love are often equally important to a person with a disability. According to the Office of Civil Rights, since the College maintains various social media accounts, it is our responsibility to make the posted content accessible and in compliance with Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A and AA.
Automatic alternative (alt) text is a feature that uses object recognition technology to create a description of a photo for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Learn how to edit the alt text for photo. As of the writing of this document, alt text can be edited only on a computer.
Add descriptive text to the photos that are posted on Facebook. Good descriptive text can both explain and enhance the meaning of the picture. Avoid extraneous textual information in images.
There are two options for adding captions to videos on Facebook: pages can automatically add captions or a SubRip Subtitle (SRT) may be uploaded.
For more information on accessibility features on Facebook and to stay updated with new ones, visit the Accessibility page on Facebook.
Twitter allows image descriptions to be added to images in a tweet, but the feature needs to be turned on in your settings on Twitter.
Navigate to Settings and privacy > Accessibility > and turn on Compose image descriptions.
You will now have the option to add descriptions when posting an image.
All videos should have closed captions and, if applicable, audio descriptions. Additionally, a transcript can be helpful for those with both visual and hearing impairments.
YouTube automatically captions many videos, but the transcript should always be checked to make sure it is accurate.
If YouTube does not automatically caption your videos, it may be because:
Learn more about video accessibility in SUNY Cortland’s Policy for Official Video.