Web Accessibility Resources

What is Web Accessibility?

The University of California's Information Technology Accessibility Policy (effective August 27, 2013) states that all campus websites and web applications should be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies.

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, operate, understand, and robustly interact with the Web. These principles are from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which govern accessibility on three different levels of compliance (A, AA, and AAA).

  • Level A - the most basic web accessibility features.
  • Level AA - deals with the most common barriers for disabled users. Our UC IT Accessibility Policy states that electronic information must meet WCAG’s Level AA compliance.
  • Level AAA - the highest and most complex level of web accessibility. 

Why should I care? 

If you're a web developer or content provider, it's your responsibility to make your content accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. In some cases, it may even be required by law. 

If you’re unfamiliar with web design accessibility, consider these situations in which users may be accessing the web in different contexts: 

  • They may not be able to see, hear, move, or may not be able to process some types of information easily or at all.
  • They may have difficulty reading or comprehending text.
  • They may not have or be able to use a keyboard or mouse.
  • They may have a text-only screen, a small screen, or a slow Internet connection.
  • They may not speak or understand fluently the language in which the document is written.
  • They may be in a situation where their eyes, ears, or hands are busy or interfered with (e.g., driving to work, working in a loud environment, etc.).
  • They may have an early version of a browser, a different browser entirely, a voice browser, or a different operating system.

Content developers must consider these different situations during page design. While there are several situations to consider, each accessible design choice generally benefits several disability groups at once and the web community as a whole.

UCSC Web Accessibility Efforts 

At UCSC, we’re continuing to build out support for web accessibility. Here are some ways in which we already supporting web accessibility: 

  • UCOP funds the Siteimprove tool for all UC campuses. As we are rolling out Siteimprove to the campus, we encourage site managers, web developers, and content creators to manage UCSC websites to utilize the tool. Visit the UCSC Siteimprove website for more information on how to get access.
  • Our Web Content Management System (WCMS), where most UCSC sites reside, has built-in accessibility features that can help to ensure content is compliant with our policies.
  • If you’re a site manager or edit a WCMS site, visit the Accessibility Best Practices Guide in our WCMS Help Site. 

Reporting Non-Accessible UCSC Websites 

If you find a UCSC website with inaccessible content or has accessibility issues, please report it using the feedback function at the footer of the page. You can find this by scrolling to the bottom of the page that has the accessibility issue, clicking "Feedback" on the bottom right corner, and putting in details about the issue.

More Resources 

Here is more information on web content accessibility guidelines.