The Need For Electronic Accessibility
The Internet provides everyone quick and easy access to information, and it offers people with disabilities a way to obtain information without having to rely on others for assistance. Yet navigating web sites and utilizing web-based tools can be difficult, sometimes impossible, for people with disabilities.
The University of California Information Technology Accessibility Policy requires compliance with the WCAG 2.0 level AA standards for all web-base information.
The Spectrum of Ability
Visual: Blind, low-vision, color-blind, forgotten reading glasses
Hearing: Deafness, hard-of-hearing, limited range hearing, no earbuds
Cognitive: Learning disabilities, distractibility, tired
Motor: Slower response time, limited fine motor control, on a bumpy vehicle
Disabilities can be permanent, temporary or situational. Providing for accessibility, in all its forms, benefits everyone.
UCOP's Web Accessibility Initiative
Having a presentable website has become the cornerstone of digital marketing. While many websites are primarily content driven, oftentimes it is desired to decorate the site in order to attract more attention from visitors. However designing a site without the user in mind can lead to many issues in terms of usability and accessibility.
In order to promote good web practices and accessibility by design, UCOP has put together a comprehensive Electronic Accessibility site that outlines accessible website principles, standards, initiatives, names resources, and highlights tools. You can also view UCOP's "What you can do for accessibility" guide.
Siteimprove is a cloud service that enables you to systematically review your sites for accessibility. Sites that have been entered into the system are crawled every five days. Reports are generated identifying errors and how to fix them. There are several types of reports.
- Accessibility: Problems with web pages and PDF documents in relation to the WCAG international standards.
- Quality Assurance: Broken links, misspelled words, and readability issues, including an inventory of your pages, documents, media files, email addresses, and other content.
- Search Engine Optimization: Technical, content, user experience, and mobile-related website issues affecting your non-paid search ranking.
- Policy: Style-guide violations or other issues (e.g., terminology, branding/trademarks, file sizes, page structure) based on industry best practices or your customized policies.
UCOP's Electronic Accessibility site contains a resource for on Siteimprove. Please see the page on "checking website accessibility with Siteimprove". This will help you through the process.
Scanning Your Sites
UC has a systemwide contract with Siteimprove. To get a Siteimprove account and start scanning your sites, please follow the following steps:
- Log-in to Siteimprove to get an account. You will be added as a "reader" and will not have any sites initially associated to your account.
- Request access to site reports. Send the list of URLs you want scanned by Siteimprove to email@example.com. If multiple people from your department signed up as well, you can send one email and list the people who need access to those reports.
- If you are not using Acquia's Drupal CMS, you can opt to add the Siteimprove Priority Script Code to your site. This is completely optional.
If you have any questions or need to make changes to the sites that are scanned, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, Siteimprove itself has a support network.
Things to note:
- Sites that are not UC Regents owned will not be added to Siteimprove. (This means, no personal websites.)
- Siteimprove monitors UC public sites only. To test password-protected sites, use the Siteimprove Chrome extension.
- Siteimprove has user training available. Once you log in to Siteimprove, you'll have access to the Help Center. Please view "Get Started" for UC related content. (Welcome to Siteimprove - University of California)
- There is a Siteimprove User Training; all new users should view this training.
Siteimprove does not take the place of manual testing.
How to use Siteimprove
For Siteimprove courses as well as all training webinars, you'll want to log in to Siteimprove. There is a Help Center and Academy tab available at the top right. Under "Get Started" there are webinars to sign up for.
Additionally, we have a specific "Welcome to Siteimprove" section for UC. You'll need to sign in to Site Improve to view.
https://support.siteimprove.com/hc/en-gb/articles/360002857111-Welcome-to-Siteimprove-University-of-California. It may be helpful to start with the Siteimprove User Training recording and the "in-app training tutorials". The "Academy" has an array of accessibility courses. These are also up on our LMS (see below).
The University of California Learning Center provides an array of accessibility courses. These include web, document, and multimedia formats, and specific by role for instructional designers (in the classroom), purchasing, web designers, and developers.
To view the entire topic: Accessibility (under Technology, Systems, and Software)
Webinars provided by Siteimprove
Siteimprove and University of California partner to bring you tips and tricks to fix your accessibility issues being flagged by Siteimprove checks.