Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.
All web editors should familiarize themselves and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as listed on Wikipedia. These define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.
The Web Services team will run all site pages through a W3C compliant validation.
Currently we are striving for AA level of compliancy. All web content needs to be reviewed for a “AA” level of compliancy.
As a public university and a hospital system, we should want all of our webpages and information to be accessible and available for everyone. At the very least, it is the right thing to do.
That being said, if we don't make our site accessible, we open ourselves up to lawsuits and being sued for discrimination. The number of companies & universities being sued for inaccessible websites is rising, and we don't want Augusta University to be one of them.
News Articles Regarding Website Accessibility Lawsuits
The Augusta University website has over 20,000 individual webpages. It is impossible to keep the pages on this site current and up-to-date without our nearly 450 web editors across the university. Because our web editors have such an active role in updating and maintaining our website, they need to know and understand both the importance of accessibility, and how to make their sections of the website accessible.
In February 2018, the Web Services team launched a new Accessibility Compliance class. This class is meant to inform web editors about accessibility guidelines, and provide tips and instructions for making sure their sections are accessible. This class is an hour long, and is open to all web editors to register.
Throughout 2018, the Web Services team will encourage our users to attend the Accessibility Compliance class. Due to the importance of accessibility, and the far-reaching implications of having a site that is not accessible, web editors who have not taken the class by January 2019 will lose the ability to edit the website.