Web accessibility at the University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is committed to meeting our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). For our websites this means conforming with Section 14 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards.
The standard says: Designated public sector organizations and large organizations shall make their internet websites and web content conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, initially at Level A by January 2014 and increasing to Level AA by January 2021.
University of Waterloo is committed to delivering web content to WCAG 2.0 Level AA wherever possible.
The standard is now in force and applies to anything that was published on a website on or after January 1, 2012, including PDF files and web-based applications that an organization controls directly or through a contractual relationship that allows for modification of the product.
Websites are required to be accessible if any of the following are true:
- the site is about a University entity, such as a faculty, department, school, institute, etc.
- the University has the ability to control the content on the site.
- the site conveys information that reasonably would be considered University business. For example, a professional “profile” page which describes a person’s area of expertise and how to contact them at the University must be accessible. (A site that is about a person’s hobbies and not in the University’s control is not required to be accessible. Such sites would not use the University logo.)
The rules that apply to the University also apply to the affiliated and federated institutions of Waterloo.
Websites in the University’s web space that are personal or relating to other groups, such as student clubs, for which the University does not control content do not fall under the University’s legal mandate to make its websites accessible. Still, University employees and other groups using the University’s web space are strongly encouraged to make their sites accessible.
How to comply
- Have your site added to the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) migration schedule. In most cases, moving your site into the WCMS takes care of most of the accessibility requirements.
- Attend the Skills for the Electronic Workplace courses on web accessibility.
- Review the Basic web accessibility and Accessibility tools pages.
- For more details, refer to the quick reference “How to Meet WCAG 2.0”.
- Contact Liam Morland with any questions about creating accessible web content.