Last Updated: 2/3/22
We aim to extend genuine hospitality to all guests and visitors of our hotel.
Our goal is to make it as effortless as possible for everyone, including people with hearing or vision loss, or any other disability, to access information about our hotel and to book a stay.
If you encounter problems learning about our hotel or booking a stay, we encourage you to contact us by telephone or email. Our helpful staff will be delighted to assist you.
Alex White [email protected]
We are committed to providing an easy-to-use online experience for all guests, and believe that every website visitor, regardless of their device type or reliance on assistive technology (including screen readers, font magnification, translation or voice recognition software) should be able to research our site online at https://hotelballast.com/
To ensure this, this property complies with Level AA success criteria of the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), an international standard measure of accessibility success. Our website and digital marketing programs thoughtfully adhere to these guidelines, and are continuously updated and enhanced to make our technology more accessible and user-friendly.
We have tested our hotel’s website to confirm that we meet or exceed Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 Standard.
If you have questions or concerns, or would like to report an issue related to the accessibility features of our website, please contact us at [email protected].
You can learn more about W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) HERE.
This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
Additionally, the website utilizes an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML, adapts its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
Optimize the way you view your web browser. If you are experiencing difficulty reading our website on your screen, changing the settings on your browser may help to improve the readability and visibility of each page:
Find out more about the accessibility features of these leading Internet Browsers through the links below:
- Mozilla Firefox : Click here for Mozilla Firefox Accessibility Features
- Google Chrome : Click here for Google Accessibility Features
- Internet Explorer : Click here for Microsoft Internet Explorer Ease of Access Options
- Apple Safari: Click here for Apple Accessibility Support
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, which details the reasoning behind each guideline.
- Section 508, which includes information and news about the accessibility standards introduced by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Accessibility Software and Services
The following free tools and services are available to assist you with viewing and interacting with our hotel website:
- Click here for HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
- Click here for Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
Click here for Lynx, a free text-only web browser.
In addition, we offer rooms with accessibility features, which may be booked through this site and any of our portfolio of hotels brand websites.
Hotel Website Accessibility Features
The website is designed to conform to Level AA compliance, as specified by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All pages validate as XHTML 1.0 and use structured semantic markup.
The website was developed to be fully accessible to all site visitors and is designed according to W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It conforms to most priority checkpoints including:
- Structured, Semantic Markup
HTML heading tags are used to convey document structure. Navigation menus are tagged as HTML maps so that the menu title can be read, and the menu items are presented as a group. Please see our sitemap for easy navigation at: https://www.hotelballast.com/sitemap
- Images Visibility
All content images include descriptive ALT attributes.
Screen-reader and keyboard navigation
Our website implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various different behavioral changes, to ensure blind users visiting with screen-readers are able to read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters your site, they immediately receive a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate your site effectively. Here’s how our website covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements, alongside console screenshots of code examples:
- Screen-reader optimization: we run a background process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website. In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels; descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups), and others.
Additionally, the background process scans all of the website’s images and provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag for images that are not described. It will also extract texts that are embedded within the image, using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology. To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on as soon as they enter the website.
These adjustments are compatible with all popular screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA.
Additionally, keyboard users will find quick navigation and content-skip menus, available at any time by clicking Alt+1, or as the first element of the site while navigating with the keyboard. The background process also handles triggered popups by moving the keyboard focus towards them as soon as they appear, and not allow the focus to drift outside of it.
Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Disability profiles supported on our website
- Epilepsy Safe Profile: this profile enables people with epilepsy to use the website safely by eliminating the risk of seizures that result from flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
- Vision Impaired Profile: this profile adjusts the website so that it is accessible to the majority of visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.
- Cognitive Disability Profile: this profile provides various assistive features to help users with cognitive disabilities such as Autism, Dyslexia, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements more easily.
- ADHD Friendly Profile: this profile significantly reduces distractions and noise, to help people with ADHD and Neurodevelopmental disorders browse, read, and focus on the essential elements more easily.
- Blind Users Profile (Screen-readers): this profile adjusts the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is installed on the blind user’s computer, and this site is compatible with it.
- Keyboard Navigation Profile (Motor-Impaired): this profile enables motor-impaired persons to operate the website using the keyboard Tab, Shift+Tab, and the Enter keys. Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Additional UI, design, and readability adjustments
- Font adjustments – users can increase and decrease its size, change its family (type), adjust the spacing, alignment, line height, and more.
- Color adjustments – users can select various color contrast profiles such as light, dark, inverted, and monochrome. Additionally, users can swap color schemes of titles, texts, and backgrounds, with over 7 different coloring options.
- Animations – epileptic users can stop all running animations with the click of a button. Animations controlled by the interface include videos, GIFs, and CSS flashing transitions.
- Content highlighting – users can choose to emphasize important elements such as links and titles. They can also choose to highlight focused or hovered elements only.
- Audio muting – users with hearing devices may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing. This option lets users mute the entire website instantly.
- Cognitive disorders – we utilize a search engine that is linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allowing people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, slang, and others.
- Additional functions – we provide users the option to change cursor color and size, use a printing mode, enable a virtual keyboard, and many other functions.
Assistive technology and browser compatibility
We aim to support the widest array of browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major systems that comprise over 95% of the user market share including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge, JAWS, and NVDA (screen readers), both for Windows and for MAC users.
Our Hotel’s Accessibility Features
Accessible features include:
- Accessible Rooms
- Accessible business center
- Accessible concierge desk
- Accessible exercise facility
- Accessible guest rooms with mobility features with entry or passage doors that provide 32” of clear width
- Accessible hotel restaurant
- Accessible meeting rooms
- Accessible parking
- Accessible parking spaces for cars in the self-parking facility
- Accessible public entrance
- Accessible registration desk
- Accessible route from the accessible public entrance to the accessible guestrooms
- Accessible route from the accessible public entrance to the registration area
- Accessible route from the hotel’s accessible entrance to the meeting room/ballroom area
- Accessible route from the hotel’s accessible public entrance to at least one restaurant
- Accessible route from the hotel’s accessible public entrance to the business center
- Accessible route from the hotel’s accessible public entrance to the exercise facilities
- Accessible route from the hotel’s accessible public entrance to the swimming pool
- Accessible swimming pool
- Assistive listening devices for meetings upon request
- Closed captioning on televisions or closed captioning decoders
- Digital alarm clock available with sound and a vibrating pad
- Digital alarm clock available with sound and strobe light
- Grab bars in bathroom
- Level or ramp entrance into the building
- Public Areas/Facilities accessible for physically challenged
- Service support animals welcome
- Strobe alarms
- Swimming pool hoist for pool access
- TTY for guest use
- Van-accessible parking in the self-parking facility
- Visual alarm for hearing impaired
- Visual alarms for hearing impaired in hallways
- Visual alarms for hearing impaired in public areas
- Wheelchair ramp for lobby/reception access
Notes, comments, and feedback
Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the website to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. We are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating, and improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements. Additionally, please be aware that WCAG 2.0 AA Guidelines are evolving and our efforts to comply with these guidelines are ongoing. If you would like to report any accessibility issues, please contact us at [email protected] or phone us at 757-703-7264. We will make all reasonable efforts in order to update the page(s) and ensure their accessibility