Website Accessibility

This document outlines the roles and responsibilities involved in meeting accessibility expectations for University of Maine System (UMS) websites, as explained in the University of Maine System Board of Trustees Information and Communications Technology Accessibility Policy. This policy states that all UMS sites should meet current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA standards, as well as subsequent Administrative Practice Letters (APL's). Though all UMS sites should meet this requirement, the primary focus of this document is mission-critical websites developed and supported by University Services (US:IT) Web Technologies (WebTech), such as top-level campus marketing sites and those of UMS departments.

Roles and Responsibilities

Making and maintaining accessible websites is a responsibility shared by both Web Technologies and site business owners.

Web Technologies

When developing UMS websites, WebTech is responsible for ensuring that the layout, theme, plugins, and other structural elements meet accessibility standards. WebTech provides training to the designated site administrator — i.e. the non-IT staff member (most often in a Marketing department) who is responsible for site content and working with other site editors. After a site is launched, WebTech manages the automated testing tool and configures it to send actionable reports to the site administrator. WebTech corrects issues that emerge due to structural changes, such as updates to the content management system (CMS), theme, or plugins.

Site Administrators

The site administrator is responsible for the accessibility of the site’s web content, including page and post content, images, attached documents, multimedia, etc. WebTech provides guidance to the site administrator throughout the site creation process and then provides automated scanning reports periodically to aid site administrators in tracking accessibility issues in their content.

For more general information related to general web management roles and responsibilities, see Campus Website Management Roles and Responsibilities.

Website Accessibility Testing Tools

The following tools may be helpful to web content editors for testing website accessibility.

Browser Extensions

Automated Testing

Manual Testing

Accessibility Guidelines

These are some of the documents that Web Technologies refers to when developing compliant websites:

  • UMS IT Accessibility
    A detailed site explaining the broader accessibility considerations for the University of Maine System.
  • WebAIM: Constructing a POUR Website
    A less technical introduction that explains the intent of the four guiding principles of WCAG 2.0 AA, sort of a narrative supplement to better understand the parts of standard.
  • WebAIM: WCAG 2 Checklist
    A checklist condensed from the WCAG 2.0 standard. Though this covers all levels of the standard, the UMS goal is to meet the items at Level AA (which also includes Level A).
  • W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
    The full official text of the WCAG 2.0 AA standard, the guidelines UMS websites are expected to meet.
  • W3C Techniques for WCAG 2.0
    A series of guidance documents explaining web coding techniques that could be used (but are not required) to meet the WCAG 2.0 standards.
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Details

Article ID: 135095
Created
Mon 8/9/21 1:07 PM
Modified
Tue 10/10/23 8:37 AM
Applies To
Faculty
Staff