Queen’s is committed to building an inclusive community with accessible spaces and services, and has implemented an Accessibility Framework to address accessibility compliance on campus. Making our websites accessible is a key part of ensuring everyone has access to university services and information.
Accessibility Tip: "Need to make your website more accessible?"
Learn how by reading the Accessibility Hub's Website Accessibility section. Making accessible websites ensures that they usable by the widest range of users, but also ensures your site is easier to read and navigate.
The Accessibility Hub and ITS have partnered to provide a new Web-Accessibility Compliance Auditing service to help you identify ways to improve the accessibility of your website and ensure that it is compliant with the provincial accessibility requirements outlined in Section 14 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act (AODA).
You may already be aware of these requirements, and because Queen's is designated as a public sector organization, the content on its public-facing websites must comply with these regulations. According to the AODA, Section 14:
- By January 1, 2014, new internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A.
- By January 1, 2021, all internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, other than, success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live), and success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).
In an effort to support website owners in ensuring that they are meeting the needs of all users, ITS negotiated a subscription for Siteimprove web governance software. Siteimprove provides flexible reporting for accessibility compliance at Levels A, AA and AAA of WCAG 2.0. It can also be used for general quality assurance, by identifying broken links and misspellings.
Individuals who manage a publicly accessible website at Queen’s will be given unlimited access to the software to perform their own audits and review reports and recommendations. The service is offered free of charge, for the duration of the current subscription.
Who Can Have It?
- Siteimprove user accounts are available to any individual managing one or more publicly-accessible websites associated with Queen’s University.
Are There Any Costs?
- The service is offered free of charge, for the duration of the current subscription.
How Do I Get It?
- Individuals can request a user account by submitting the Web Accessibility Support Form.
- Individuals with user accounts can log in at https://my.siteimprove.com.
How Do I Discontinue It?
- Individuals can request the removal of their user account by submitting the Web Accessibility Support Form.
Siteimprove Training & Resources
- Next session is March 24, 2017.
- A recording of past introductory training sessions are available from the links below. The one-hour session will help you get acquainted with Siteimprove software, its interface and reporting tools, as well as the as well as the Web-Accessibility Compliance Auditing service.
- Siteimprove also provides help and support within the application itself.
- Additional help and information related to website accessibility can be found on the Accessibility Hub, including links to resources and how-to guides. For general questions about accessibility and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), you can also connect with the Accessibility Hub.
- Queen’s University has developed an official resource for creating accessible websites: The Web Standards and Accessibility Development Guide, which can be used in conjunction with the Queen’s University Style Guide (and PDF version), designed to provide quick reference to important information about the university’s writing guidelines and writing style. All questions regarding the Queen’s University Style Guide should also be directed to University Communications.
- ITS offers a Web Accessibility Workshop in Moodle, where you can learn more about the AODA and how to improve website accessibility.
- ITS also offers video captioning service and the Accessibility Hub offers a wealth of information on video accessibility. Captioning make visual media with sound accessible to for individuals who cannot hear the audio it also benefits non-native speakers, users with audio muted or viewers watching a video with poor quality audio.
- The targeted availability of this service is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (24x7).
- Users of the service should expect occasional but infrequent service interruptions or slowdowns, both planned and unplanned.
- Information on system status and planned downtime is provided by Siteimprove.
Help & Support
ITS provides support for Siteimprove, as well as assistance with specific technical issues, including WebPublish.
If you require support, would like to have your site added to Siteimprove, begin receiving reports, force an unscheduled crawl of your site, or additional user accounts, please use the Web Accessibility Support Form. For new user or website accounts, please identify any websites that you manage by providing URLs for each.