New legislation affects UAS sites from 23rd September 2019
Government legislation has come in to effect which states that all public sector websites must meet certain standards of accessibility.
From 23rd September all UAS websites within the Mosaic project must therefore reach these standards.
- All live sites must make necessary updates
- All new sites must be compliant when they launch
- All must do regular checks and make necessary updates
There are three levels of accessibility - A, AA, and AAA. AA standard must be attained in order to be compliant, though UAS aims to meet AAA standards where possible.
More information is available on the Government's webpage, Understanding new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.
UAS has met the legal requirement to publish a statement outlining how sites are compliant and efforts being made to address non-compliance. All UAS websites link to this statement in their footer. This statement outlines how the sites meet the requirement, acknowledges where standards are not met, and outlines the timescale for the correction of these issues.
The University's guidance on accessibility
The University's Equality Policy outlines its commitment to a culture which ‘maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected’. The University has published guidance for editors and moderators to help them maintain accessibility standards.
What do Mosaic Editors need to do
ACCESSIBILITY BY DESIGN
The UAS style guide, and the templates built in Mosaic, are intended to ensure that a number of accessibility requirements are met from the start. If you adhere to the principles in the style guide then you will meet the majority of the important criteria for accessibility.
PDFs - Please note that accessibility also relates to your pdfs as well as to your webpage content. PDFs published before 23rd September 2018 do not need to be compliant at this stage, however any newer pdfs must be accessible, and when any older pdfs are updated they must meet these requirements.
5 THINGS TO DO FOR ACCESSIBILITY
- use plain English and keep sentences short
- give a text alternative for all visual content (graphs, videos etc)
- visual content should not be used instead of text
- use unique and descriptive page titles
- make link text clear, unique and descriptive
- don’t use - to find out more click here
- do use - to find out more visit our ABC page
CHECKING YOUR SITE
Lead editors on each site have access to Siteimprove, a web-based service which regularly scans the site to check for errors, including ways in which the site, or site content, does not meet accessibility requirements.
Site editors are responsible for resolving issues relating to the content of their site.
Siteimprove categorises accessibility issues by their rating:
- AA standard must be achieved; editors should correct A and AA issues as a priority as soon as possible on live sites, and before go-live for other sites
- Reaching AAA standard is a goal, so editors should fix these where/when they can
Siteimprove will highlight some issues which editors can currently ignore:
- Some will be addressed by the Mosaic development team
- Some are not correctly identified as a problem
The project's guidance document on Siteimprove lists issues flagged by the site which editors can currently ignore.
If there are any issues which are raised by Siteimprove with which editors need help or clarification, they should contact the Project Team.
TECHNICAL ISSUES ADDRESSED BY THE MOSAIC TEAM
The Mosaic platform does very well in comparative terms in being compliant, but the Mosaic team are aware that there is still room for improvement. They will work to address some of the technical issues which are known, and will seek clarification on if/when/how other issues are to be resolved. The list in the project's guidance document of issues which editors can currently ignore includes technical matters being addressed by Mosaic.