USM Digital Commons: Accessibility Statement
bepress is committed to web accessibility for all, regardless of ability or disability. We work continually to improve the accessibility and usability of Digital Commons, informed by web accessibility standards. Accessibility is an ideal and responsibility that we share with our scholarly community. We collaborate with the administrators at USM Digital Commons to make this website and its contents as accessible as possible.
bepress endeavors to meet all guidelines and standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at level AA conformance, and Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act. These guidelines define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities, and conformance to them improves the web's usability for all people.
Digital Commons is partially compliant with WCAG 2.1 at level AA, and we make continual improvements with the aim of achieving full compliance. In certain areas, Digital Commons implements level AAA success criteria.
For a detailed review of how Digital Commons conforms with WCAG 2.1 success criteria, please refer to our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) document. This document was produced by the members of the Elsevier and bepress internal accessibility teams.
Accessibility Measures at bepress
Accessibility is a product development priority at bepress, and full standards compliance is represented on our product roadmaps. We promote awareness of accessibility principles among our employees, providing opportunities and resources for them to further develop web accessibility expertise. We maintain a dedicated internal accessibility team to evaluate, support, and improve web accessibility on our platforms.
Our Consulting Services team works together with the USM Digital Commons administration to publish accessible pages and content on USM Digital Commons. We strive for open communication with our community of repository administrators on our shared challenges and successes in promoting accessible scholarship on the web.
Accessibility Support and Feedback
If you have accessibility questions regarding Digital Commons, or to report accessibility issues, please contact bepress Consulting Services via email at or by phone at +1 (510) 665-1200 ext. 2. We usually respond within 24 hours on weekdays.
Portable Document Format (PDF) Files
Digital Commons records may include PDF files as downloadable primary full texts or supplementary content.
USM Digital Commons may choose to make tagged PDFs available for users of assistive technology. Document processing within Digital Commons preserves the tag structure of uploaded PDF files. Primary files may have a standard Digital Commons cover page (which contains appropriate tags) prepended to the document.
USM Digital Commons may choose to make PDFs with searchable text or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) available.
Main navigation links are consistent across pages in USM Digital Commons. Site structure is standardized, as all pages comprise 4 sections:
- A header bar that includes the main navigation
- A main content area
- A sidebar
- A footer
When Cascading Styles Sheets (CSS) are disabled, or when using assistive technology, the 4 sections are read in the above order.
Skip Navigation Link
Keyboard users may bypass repetitive elements at the top of each page by immediately tabbing to the first interactive item, which is a “Skip to Main Content” link. This allows users to jump to the main section of the current page context.
Visual Design and Mobile Display
All pages and content may be enlarged using standard browser controls or screen magnification software.
A mobile-specific style sheet, with a smaller viewport, is applied for users loading pages on mobile devices. Pages are mostly usable when style sheets are disabled.
Text has sufficient contrast (4.5:1 for small text; 3:1 for large text) with its corresponding background to be clearly legible in almost all areas of the site. Links are visually distinguished from text, and most interactive elements also have obvious visual hover and focus states.
Access keys allow users to jump to specific elements of a web page using keyboard shortcuts. To activate an access key, press the modifier key + the access key.
Access key modifiers differ between the web browsers and operating system platforms:
- Chrome: Alt on Windows. Ctrl + ⌥ Opt on Mac.
- Firefox: Alt + ⇧ Shift on Windows. Ctrl + ⌥ Opt on Mac.
All pages in USM Digital Commons define the following numeric access keys:
- Access key 1: USM Digital Commons Home (navigates away from current page context)
- Access key 2: Main Content Area (of the current page context)
- Access key 3: My Account Page (navigates away from current page context)
- Access key 4: Search (activates search input field)
- Access key 0: Accessibility Statement (navigates away from current page context)
Additionally, search results pages may be navigated using the following alphabetical access keys:
- Access key f: First results page
- Access key n: Next results page
- Access key p: Previous results page
- Access key l: Last results page
Rich text fields on submission forms have the following built-in keyboard shortcuts:
- Alt + 0 - Help
- Alt + F10 - Toolbar (also allows user to return to the previous field)