Queen's Accessibility Hub


Accessibility Hub

site header

Tips for Improving Accessibility at Queen's

Accessibility Tip - Making Complex images accessible

Did you know you can make graphs, charts, infographics and math equations accessible to users with disabilities?

Learn how to make your complex images accessible

Websites Accessibility?

Making accessible websites ensures that they are usable by the widest range of users, but also ensures your site is easier to read and navigate. It is important to make these changes to your websites to accommodate a variety of disabilities. For example, many people with visual disabilities use screen readers which read aloud information on the screen such as text or image descriptions provided through alternative text (Alt Text).

If you plan, format, and structure your website correctly in the beginning, it will ensure the site is not only accessible but can also be viewed and the content is usable for everyone.

What does the AODA say on websites?

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).

Training and Support for Website Accessibility

room full of sitting student receiving A O D A trainingThe Accessibility Hub and Information Technology Services (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).

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.

  1. For more information on Siteimprove Training and Support, please visit the ITS Web Accessibility Service Page.
  2. Video Captioning service:  ITS offers a video captioning service (paid service powered by Automatic Sync Technologies) to all faculty members and staff members. Users of the Queen’s Streaming Service have access to Amara caption editor, which allows users to create and edit the caption file for their video (free of charge).  The Streaming Service is also integrated with Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) and organizational units with existing AST accounts can use this feature for closed captioning.
  3. 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 connecting with the Accessibility Hub.

AODA Training Suite

As part of its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) the University is required to provide mandatory training.

Every person who communicates and interacts with persons with disabilities on behalf of Queen's University must receive and complete all trainings in the AODA Training Suite applicable to them. 

  • All current employees of the University are expected to complete the AODA Training Suite by January 2014.
  • New employees are expected to complete the AODA Training Suite within the first two weeks of starting at the University.

Diversity and Equity Assessment and Planning (DEAP) Tool

screen shot of D.E.A.P. ToolThe DEAP Tool has been developed by the Queen's University Equity Office to assist Units to better understand the environments and climate relating to equity and diversity in their Units. The DEAP Tool is a self-audit tool for internal use for Units to:

  • Understand the demographic profile of their staff, faculty, and students
  • Assess how inclusive the Unit is
  • Provide an opportunity to reflect on areas in need of improvement using the Diversity Score Card assessment template
  • Support requests for resources or modifications further commitments to equity and diversity
  • Develop an action plan and timeline to enhance inclusion

The Tool also is designed to complement other administrative responsibilities such as:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Cyclical Review Process (CPR) and Queen's University Quality Assurance Process (QUQAP's)
  • Hiring and Appointments Processes
  • Implementation of the Academic Plan

Want to Learn More?