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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Accessibility, Copyright and Privacy Compliance

Legal considerations important for our UBCMS websites.

On this page:


We expect that all UBCMS websites will be in compliance with UB policies. If you have questions about accessibility, please consult the UB Accessibility website.

Here accessibility refers to the design of services for people with disabilities, such as visual impairments. Accessible practice ensures both unassisted direct access and compatibility with a person's asistive technology (e.g. screen readers).

As a public university, the University at Buffalo adheres to state and federal mandates regarding universal accessibility. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (federal ADA website), specifically Section 508, as well as parallel state regulations require all significant elements of a website to be fully accessible.

Embedded External Content

When you include external content using the External Embed or HTML Snippet components it must comply with accessibility mandates.

Font Size & Contrast

Accessibility includes the legibility of text on our pages.  The font sizes and the level of contrast between text and background colors must be great enough for people with poor eyesight. The UBCMS system-wide fonts are Web-optimized and our new Brand colors are optimized to meet ADA standards (more about our new brand palette).

Images on Web Pages

Images on Web pages must be fully accessible to screen readers. In practical terms, that means each image must be accompanied by 'Alt Text'.  Short for 'alternative text', this is descriptive information about the image that allows people who cannot see the image to understand what they are missing.

Alt Text can be added to these areas:

  • All components that have images (e.g. Photo).
  • Images in the DAM.
  • Teaser images on shared content News Template pages.
  • Teaser images in Page Properties.

Master Class Resources

Additional resources

To audit your own Web pages for compliance, use this bookmark tool.

Image Acessibility Bookmarklet

Image Accessibility Bookmark Tool

How to use the Image Accessibility Bookmarklet:  

  1. Drag the above blue button on to the bookmarks bar of your preferred browser.
  2. Navigate to the page you would like to evaluate, either the published version or in Author (but see note below).
  3. Click the bookmark while you are on that page.
  4. A new frame will appear to the right of your page, listing all the images on the page, and highlighting any that lack Alt Text or have just a space (" ").
  5. Click any of those highlighted images to jump to that part of your Web page.

Run This Tool On a Sitemap

To make a quick audit of your site, build a temporary page in author and load a Sitemap of your pages. The tool will show counts in red (images with no Alt Text) and orange (images with a space). But beware, any pages checked 'Hide in Sitemap' in their Page Properties will not be listed.

Additional notes for pages loaded in Author,  

  1. The frame should show any images that are on your page. If none are listed, make sure the "cf#/" is removed from the page's URL in your browser's location bar.
    • e.g.
  2. The tool will flag images that are not shown on your published page, such as the placeholder icons loaded for unmodified components, unused parts of Flex Modules, and the gray bars for the Content Optimization Container. To avoid this, switch to Preview Mode.
  3. The tool will flag images that are part of teasers (e.g. in Lists) regardless of Alt Text associated with the original images on the linked pages. There is no workaround. 
  4. The tool will flag images in the Photo Gallery because these images have no Alt Text. There is no workaround.

Video Embedded in Web Pages

Videos must also be made accessible to those who cannot see or hear them, which requires captioning and audio descriptions, as well as an accessible player. (Read more about accessible videos.)

For the UBCMS Video (YouTube) component, we have added Alt Text to meet accessibility concerns for our websites, including supporting screen readers that are trying to 'read' the thumbnail image/play button that is shown for each video.

We expect that all UBCMS websites will be in compliance with UB policies. If you have questions about copyright in regards to your website, contact the CIO's Information Security Officer.

If you use images or video in your Web pages, please be sensitive to copyright regulations and only use those that you have produced yourself, were purchased or recorded for UB's express use, or that fall under the public domain. Read more on our Selecting Strong Visuals page, which includes suggested sources of copyright free images.

Also, please be careful not to use music in your videos that violates copyright. This will put you in legal jeopardy, plus YouTube is aggressively policing its videos and suspect videos are routinely blocked. Be sure to follow YouTube's guidelines when uploading new content (more details).


We expect that all UBCMS websites will be in compliance with UB policies. If you have questions about digital privacy in regards to your website, contact the CIO's Information Security Officer.

Written consent is REQUIRED if the subject matter contains minors or patients in any health care situation. Otherwise, permission is NOT NEEDED to use images of UB students and employees, or of members of the public who are on UB's campuses. However, if the subject specifically requests their image not be used, you must comply.

Regulated Private Data

No sensitive data can be collected or transmitted through UBCMS or Formstack forms or held in any files on a UBCMS website, even in a secure area, without special permission by the CIO's Information Security Office.

Sensitive data includes Regulated Private Data (e.g. Social Security numbers (SSN), credit cards), Personally Identifable Information (e.g. date/place of birth) or Student Education Record Data (anything beyond our online public directory).  

Learn more:  

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