QA and Accessibility Campaigns

Queen's Website Governance Committee has initiated a series of quality assurance and accessibility campaigns to impact campus-wide compliance with quality assurance and accessibility issues online, and to improve the overall health and usability of all websites that represent Queen’s University.

About web standards

Keeping Queen’s web content accessible and error-free is an ongoing challenge; it takes time and effort to keep web content accurate and create new content with best practices in mind. However, maintaining up-to-date and error-free web content is crucial for:

  • delivering a positive user experience
  • ensuring accessibility for all
  • maximizing the usability of our websites, and
  • preserving the integrity of our brand.

Additionally, search engines favour websites with updated content and good usability, making them more discover-able to users searching for related information.

Campaign goals

The goal of our campaigns, generally, is to:

  • engage website editors in specific issues that can be corrected without extensive coding expertise,
  • illustrate the impact of creating collective goals and aligning our efforts to meet them,
  • raise awareness of best practices on the web and improve our digital skills,
  • embed Queen's commitment to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and other inclusive practices.


If you have any questions or feedback about our campaigns please contact:
Robin Moon
Manager, Digital User Experience, University Relations
Co-Chair, Website Governance Committee

Campaign 2: Missing Alt Text

Campaign timeline: January 24 through March 1, 2024

Who is involved: Website owners, administrators, and editors across campus

Goal: To reduce the number of instances of missing alt text; to improve internal standards for alt text

# of images missing alt text at start of campaign:  19,481

Not just a background technical setting, alt text acts as a gateway to information for those with visual impairments.

Alt or “alternative” text is a short description of an image that is included in the source code of a web page. This description, entered by page editors, ensures that all visitors to a web page have access to all the content hosted there, including the graphic information regardless of whether or not an image is viewed by the user. For example, a blind or low-vision person using assistive technology who does not see in image will instead rely on a screen-reader tool to read aloud the alt text description of the image.

Siteimprove (Queen’s enterprise tool for monitoring quality and accessibility of websites) has identified 19,481 instances of images without alt text across Queen’s websites.

Additionally, there are 25,763 images with alt text input as alt="". The use of empty quotations denotes a decorative image. However, in most cases, descriptive alt text is warranted instead.

When we don’t include appropriate alt text, we create an accessibility barrier. As such, this is a failure to comply with The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

We ask all web editors and teams to support this challenge through the campaign timeline.

Please find images without alt text and add the appropriate alt text on every website you are responsible for within the campaign timeline. We recommend using the Siteimprove tool to do this.

Number of pages with images missing alt text


1 to 5

6 to 10

11 to 50

51 to 100


Number of sites: Campaign start







Number of sites: Campaign end







The instances of "pages with images missing alt text"

  • were reduced by 64% by the end of the campaign period
  • were reduced by 80% by mid-April, 2024, as teams continued to make progress beyond the campaign end

Campaign 1: Broken Links

Campaign timeline: August 14 to mid-September, 2023

Who is involved: Website owners, administrators, and editors across campus

Goal: To reduce the number of broken links across Queen’s websites (stretch goal: to 0!)

# of pages with broken links at start of campaign:  19,508


Broken links:
= bad user experience, generally
= confused and annoyed site visitors
= site visitors don’t find the information they seek
= loss of confidence in the Queen’s brand

Broken links frustrate users and hinder their ability to navigate a site effectively. These dead-end pathways across Queen's websites discourage visitors from exploring our programs and initiatives further.

As of mid-July, Siteimprove (Queen’s enterprise tool for monitoring quality and accessibility of websites) identified 19,508 “pages with confirmed broken links” across the 410 public Queen's websites that we are monitoring.

Additionally, there are many other links that should be reviewed for accuracy (e.g., they might still work but they are being redirected, or they might be linking to unsecure sites).

We asked our website teams to support this challenge by identifying broken links using their access to the Siteimprove tool to do this and making appropriate modifications.

By the end of the campaign, we had reduced the number of pages with broken links by 38%.

Category At campaign start At campaign end Result
Sites monitored 410 425  
Pages with broken links 19508 12068 -38%
Sites with 0 pages with broken links 107 154 +43%
Sites with 5 or fewer pages with broken links 236 265