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Oklahoma State University
Department of Wellness

America's HEALTHIEST Campus®

New Site for Oklahoma ABLE Tech!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Website - HOME pageOklahoma ABLE Tech just recently launched its re-designed, fully-accessible website, okabletech.org. The URL is new, too, changing from okabletech.okstate.edu to the simpler, shorter address. An accessible website is critical for Oklahoma ABLE Tech as the program is Oklahoma’s federally-, and state-sponsored Assistive Technology Act Program, ensuring that Oklahomans with disabilities have access to assistive technology that helps them in education, employment, and the community.

The re-design took over a year to complete as the staff of ABLE Tech researched a number of Content Management Systems (CMS) that addressed accessibility and located a theme that also provided keyboard-dependent controls (use of the tab key to navigate), and provisions for alternative input devices and controls (buttons, links and other elements) that are screen reader accessible. Other needs include strict adherence to a heading(s) hierarchy, ARIA labelling, and adequate contrast.

The team chose the WordPress platform and the PolyClinic theme by a web designer named Oliver Juhas, WebMan Design, based in Slovakia. Lynda Halley, marketing coordinator, said “We needed an intuitive, flexible and opensource CMS application to program this site. As a sponsored program, we have a tight budget and rely on student, and part-time, employees for marketing support. WordPress is familiar to many of them already.”

Selecting the theme was trickier and Halley notes, “Many theme designers say their work is ‘accessible’ but we found out by testing several that they were not… or, not to the extent we needed. WebMan Design, owned by Oliver Juhas, can be found on the WordPress.org resource website and the company offers several themes that are “accessibility-ready” – the term we learned was more accurate and addressed our needs.”

“We did a lot of customization and Oliver was available to answer many, many questions through his support portal. We’d send a question during the day and the answer would be back the next morning,” Halley shared. “I was really impressed with his responsiveness for a $60 purchase!”

Converting content from the existing site to the new one entailed building 227 pages with a total of 3,188 links, 1,285 media items (images, PDFs, docs) and utilizing 24 additional WordPress-compatible plugins. Maegan Mobus, marketing assistant, was absolutely integral to the re-build. She took on the conversion of most of the content so that Lynda could focus on building the interface, navigation and page layouts.

Some of the more popular sections of the site are listed/linked below. If you have family, friends or know of an acquaintance with a disability, please let them know about okabletech.org!

  • okabletech.org/device-loan – where ABLE Tech’s inventory of over 2,500 assistive devices can be searched and then requested for a 6-week FREE loan to “try, before you buy.”
  • okabletech.org/device-reutilization
    (including Oklahoma Equipment Exchange [OEE] and Oklahoma Durable Medical Reuse Program [OKDMERP]). These two programs allow the public to post/sell and buy durable medical equipment (OEE) and qualify for free DME (OKDMERP).
  • AT Discovery – ABLE Tech’s clearinghouse for many resources relating to specific disabilities and covering the categories of education, community living and employment.