Frequently Asked Questions
To which types of websites does the UMD Web Accessibility Policy apply?
The University of Maryland Web Accessibility Policy (approved April, 4, 2018) requires that all Web-based information newly adopted or redesigned by any university administrative, academic, or programmatic unit on or after the establishment of this policy must be in compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG Version 2.0 AA conformance level.
"Web-based information" includes Web pages, Web content (hypertext, videos, documents, images, audio files, etc.), Web-based applications, online instructional content, services, and resources, including those developed by, maintained by, or offered through third-party vendors or open sources.
The policy applies to all university Web pages used to conduct university business or academic activities. For example:
- Public and private (i.e., behind authentication) Web pages.
- Individual faculty and scholar websites hosted and not hosted by UMD. With or without the umd.edu domain.
- Websites ending with umd.edu, .com, .org, .net and other domains if they are used to conduct university business or academic activities.
- Online course spaces, including pages within ELMS.
This policy does not apply to Web pages published by students, employees, or non-university organizations that are hosted by the university but are not used to conduct university business or academic activities.
- Policy requirements also include:
- Each university administrative, academic, and programmatic unit must establish priorities and timetables for updating its legacy Web-based information.
- All university Web pages (newly designed, or legacy), must contain the words “Web Accessibility” in the footer or any visible location and link to a common institutional Web page ( https://www.umd.edu/web-accessibility ) that contains the following statement: “The University of Maryland is committed to equal access to Web content. If you need to request Web content in an alternative format or have comments or suggestions on accessibility, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information about accessibility at UMD, visit the UMD Accessibility Hub.”
Do we have to fix all Web content (e.g., templates, frames, videos, documents, etc.)?
Yes. All Web content on websites used to conduct university business or academic activities need to comply with requirements of the policy. All web content should be evaluated and fixed to comply with WCAG 2.0 AA standards . These are examples of Web content that should comply with terms of the policy:
- Website templates and frames
- Functionality (e.g., keyboard accessibility)
- Documents (e.g., PDF, MS Word, PPT, guides, handbooks, articles)
- Multimedia (e.g., videos, podcasts)
- Content added to social media (e.g., pictures, videos, documents)
- Archives, pages, or content not currently being used, but that are still publicly available
How do I prioritize and create a remediation plan?
Each unit needs to establish priorities for remediation of their websites and web content. You may request a consultation session at email@example.com if you need support on this process.
Recommended first steps:
- Complete audit of your websites and Web content.
- Generate a list including website name, URLs, owner, managers, and content editors
- Test websites for accessibility (DIT offers Siteimprove )
- Evaluate content (e.g., pages, documents, videos, social media, third party tools, apps) and make decisions about importance and consider the scope .
- Establish priorities and timetables for updating websites to conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA.
How do I test my website(s) for accessibility?
The Siteimprove Web Governance tool is provided by the Division of Information Technology to test accessibility of sites owned by the University of Maryland. UMD faculty and staff will need a UMD Directory ID to create a SiteImprove account. For more information:
How do I fix the UMD header which has WCAG accessibility errors?
How can I test my website behind authentication?
The Siteimprove tool only crawls public websites. UMD users can use Siteimprove Accessibility Checker Chrome Extensionto scan websites behind CAS or other authentication. The Chrome extension scans one page at a time.
How can I request training?
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to set up an individual or departmental training or consultation session.
- Siteimprove Academy offers the following online courses (Siteimprove account required):
- General Digital Accessibility Basics. This course provides a high-level overview of general accessibility principles including understanding disabilities, international guidelines, legal implications, and assistive technologies.
- Using the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform for Digital Accessibility. This course teaches you how to use the Siteimprove platform; how to embed accessibility into your process; how to prioritize; and how to use manual testing to validate accessibility.
What IT accessibility services does DIT offer?
The following services are available in the DIT Service Catalog :
How can I get help?
- Contact DIT’s IT accessibility team at email@example.com .
- The Siteimprove Help Center has a very comprehensive list of tutorials, knowledge articles, and training materials (Siteimprove account required).
- UMD users may contact the Siteimprove Help Center directly to ask general questions and to address technical issues at firstname.lastname@example.org .