Frequently Asked Questions
You can check whether your website has accessibility issues by performing a combination of manual and automated accessibility tests.
For a quick manual test, start by following the Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility instructions provided by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
For a quick automatic test, use the tool aChecker to check one page at a time. For more extensive monitoring of your site, contact the Digital Accessibility Resource Centre to get your website added to SiteImprove Web Governance Suite. Once you have access to SiteImprove, your site will be scanned every 5 days for accessibility and quality assurance issues.
Verifying Conformance with WCAG 2.0
The quick manual and automated tests specified above do not cover the full range of accessibility issues that can create barriers on a website. Therefore we encourage you to have an experienced web professional review the website using the full Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as a standard.
By January 1, 2021, all University of Guelph public facing websites must conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Everyone involved in designing, developing, and maintaining the website is responsible for making a website accessible.
Prior to building a new website or updating an existing website, ensure that all members of your web team are trained in the AODA standards that your website must meet. The Digital Accessibility Resource Centre is here to help!
By January 1, 2021, all University of Guelph documents that were created after January 1, 2012 and can be accessed from a public website must be accessible and conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA standards.
The requirements for large public sector organizations as specified by Section 14 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) do not extend to intranet websites.
Intranet websites are defined by the IASR as “an organization’s internal website that is used to privately and securely share any part of the organization’s information or operational systems within the organization and includes extranet websites.”
We encourage the owners of all password-protected websites to make their websites accessible.
This service is in the process of being decommissioned and new personal websites can no longer be created. If you are a faculty member or a member of a lab/research group, please see Faculty, Lab and Research Websites (CampusPress) for more information on our new service.
The CampusPress service offers a University of Guelph-branded, AODA-compliant theme that takes care of the majority of work for you.
Note: Content creators using this service are still responsible for making sure the content of their sites is accessible. According to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): any new public websites, significantly refreshed websites and any web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A.
Beginning January 1, 2021, all University of Guelph public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA, other than success criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions).
The Communications & Public Affairs (C&PA) department provides official web design guidelines and web publishing guidelines which can help you identify whether your website is a University of Guelph website. Some of the criteria which help identify a University of Guelph website are:
- A website that bears the University of Guelph identifier
- A website with a URL that falls under a “uoguelph.ca” domain
- A website that is copyrighted by the University of Guelph
- A website that is directly controlled by the University of Guelph
If you are unsure whether your website is a University of Guelph website, contact the Digital Accessibility Resource Centre for guidance.
The CCS Web Solutions team has developed accessible web templates to assist campus web designers and content creators in meeting AODA requirements.
There are numerous resources available to assist you in making your course materials more accessible. The Digital Accessibility Resource Centre (DARC) provides information and guidance with "How-to guides" on Accessible Documents (Word, PowerPoint, PDF), Website Accessibility, and Multi-Media Accessibility. Contact a member of the DARC team or attend one or more training sessions listed in the "Education, Training, Awareness" section.
SiteImprove Web Governance Suite is an online tool which provides web accessibility auditing and quality assurance services. The University of Guelph has purchased this tool to help ensure institutional compliance with AODA web requirements.
If you own or manage a website that lives under a University of Guelph domain, contact the Digital Accessibility Resource Centre to find out how you can monitor your website using SiteImprove.
SiteImprove Web Governance Suite is able to check online PDFs for accessibility issues. However, it should be noted that automated accessibility checkers will not catch every error, and thus, the best practice is to perform an automated check, followed by a manual check.
AODA stands for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It was passed in 2005. Its goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025.
Visit the Office of Diversity and Human Rights Accessibility site for more information about AODA.
WCAG 2.0 is an acronym for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0). The guidelines were created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to provide recommendations for making websites and web content accessible. Visit the W3 Org website for more information about WCAG 2.0.
University of Guelph Accessibility Standards
Official University of Guelph websites must comply with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
By January 1, 2021, all University of Guelph internet websites must conform with Level AA of the WCAG 2.0, other than success criteria 1.2.4 Captions (Live) and success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded).