Accessibility Guide to Names and Acronyms

  • Never use the acronym "GT", except where it is part of an official name or descriptor ("GT Dining", "GT Account").  The preferred way of referencing the institute is simply "Georgia Tech", so always spell it out that way.  Even when referencing multiple universities on a single page, never revert to "GT" for additional references – always write out "Georgia Tech".

  • Never use the acronym "IAC" or "Ivan Allen College" to reference the college – always write out the full name, "Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts", for the first mention on a web page.  Anyone not part of the Georgia Tech community will have no idea what "IAC" means, and even the phrase "Ivan Allen College" doesn't tell a newcomer anything about the kinds of disciplines our college encompasses.  If you are referencing the college multiple times on a page, you can shorten references after the first one to just "the college" (no capital 'C', by the way).  If a page should reference multiple colleges, you could also shorten later references to "the College of Liberal Arts".

  • For school and center names, the same basic rules apply, and you can use "the school" or "the center" for later references on a page.

  • For pages with references to multiple schools, centers, or colleges, it is technically acceptable to use acronyms for these cases, but if you choose to do so, the rule is to always write out the full name on first use, then place the acronym in parenthesis following the name.  After that, you can use the acronym.  It is a good idea, though, to write the name out again on first use in each major section of a page, not just the first use on the page itself.

In case you are wondering, there are several good reasons for these name format rules besides "Georgia Tech wants you to do it.":

  1. You always have to assume that someone may visit one of our website pages via a remote link and not have any prior knowledge about Georgia Tech.

  2. Writing in a stylistically correct form makes your content look much more professional, which improves the way others perceive your unit.

  3. For people who have to use accessibility technology, such as screen readers that speak aloud the text on a web page, written out names are far more understandable (acronyms are often not pronounceable by screen readers the way you're used to hearing them.)

  4. Written out names even help improve your search rankings, as two and three letter words are usually ignored by search engines.  So, the more times you have "Georgia Tech" or "Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts" written out on your pages, the better your sites will rank on those key phrases.