UI makes significant progress in web accessibility

UI makes significant progress in web accessibility

The UI is committed to providing equal access to web resources for all individuals, regardless of ability, impairment, or environment.

Since approval of the campus web accessibility policy in October 2011, the ITS-led web accessibility efforts have focused on helping campus units assess and improve their websites. This has included over 700 site assessments, training, and development of self-assessment practices and reference materials. With the wide implementation of the SiteNow content-management system, accessibility assessment scores have continued to improve for new websites.

Results of the 2013 faculty/staff IT survey show that 58% of campus respondents are aware of the Web Accessibility Policy. Two recent comparisons of university websites show that in a limited measurement of key campus web pages, Iowa has made significant progress in comparison to its ranking in 2009, both among CIC institutions and against a national group of 226 institutions.

Next steps in web accessibility

In 2013, the scope of accessibility efforts expanded to include application development, administrative PDFs, and multimedia. These efforts will continue in 2014, with the addition of educational materials, and more focused training for web developers on specific accessibility concepts. 

Iowa is also an active participant in the CIC Information Technology Accessibility Group (CIC ITAG), sponsored by the CIOs of CIC institutions. In 2014, the Iowa web accessibility group will continue to collaborate with other CIC teams on accessibility projects addressing web design, media development, vendor relations, and assessment techniques. The outcomes of these projects are expected to yield a body of tools, standards, and practices that will improve accessibility across a spectrum of IT.