Website accessibility requirements and best-practices for University websites
We are concerned about the Accessibility of our university’s website and we would like to learn more about the general best-practices for accessibility of institutional and university websites.
The institutional client wants to know about required accessibility parameters and what measures should be taken to be within compliance for accessibility.
A Digital Accessibility Policy seeks to ensure that digital content created and revised by organizational faculty, staff and students conforms to the organization’s defined Accessibility Standards. It applies to all digital content procured, created, produced or revised for University Business. The roles and responsibilities of Senior Leadership, Digital Accessibility Liaisons, Digital Content Owners, the Digital Accessibility Steering Committee and the Office of Equity are typically outlined in the policy. Reporting and responding to accessibility issues is often detailed and the consequences of not conforming to the Accessibility Standards.
“University Websites provide an online environment where knowledge and ideas can be easily shared. This exchange is most meaningful when it promotes inclusion.” explains Harvard University’s Office of the President. “Many website owners may not realize the challenges that websites and digital content can present for individuals with disabilities. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to improve online accessibility.”
According to the Digital Accessibility Policy for Northwestern University department head Laura Conway, ADA Coordinator, Office of Equity at Northwestern University, all sites “ created, [and, or] produced… conforms to the Accessibility Standards” set forth by the institution.
Additionally, all sites a part of the Northwestern University network must “include a link to the ’Report a Web Accessibility Concern’ form on the footer of each page, providing the primary means for users
to submit requests or express concern about a particular University Website.” Also, the Office of Equity clarifies that “the ‘Report’ form will link to the Digital Accessibility Policy page.”
Read more about Northwestern University’s Accessibility Policy online here.
- Read Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy online here.
- Learn more about how you can improve accessibility in your department or organization at The Harvard Gazette.
- Digital and Web Accessibility at Columbia University (read online) and their FAQs (read online).
- More about how this impacts WordPress development.
- Duke University Web Accessibility Guidelines by the Web Accessibility Administrator at Duke University (read online).
- Yale is committed to making information, programs and activities on its websites and web applications accessible to people with disabilities through its Web Accessibility Policy.