Why is this important?
At McGill we aim to create an accessible, diverse, and inclusive campus, and this includes our digital spaces. Our websites must strive to be accessible and inclusive to all users.
Checklist of things to do
Build and maintain your webpages with an attention to equity, diversity and inclusion best practices.
- Format your content (text, images, video and other media) so that users with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive disabilities can access it
- Take our training course, Web accessibility - WS-106 to learn how to create accessible web content
- Review your site to ensure it meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at launch and on an ongoing basis (see supporting resources below for details)
- Refer to the Standard sur l'accessibilité des sites Web (SGQRI 008 2.0) to identify the required level of standards compliance
- When working with external vendors, ensure accessibility requirements are communicated and acknowledged, see Web Services Custom or vendor-built project toolkit
- Provide easy access to alternate text formats of content
- Consider the experience of users in locations with limited internet access (e.g. slow internet connections, limited multimedia capacity, older browsers, small-screen devices)
- Include a wide range of members of your diverse community when soliciting feedback regarding your website(s)
- Ensure users with disabilities are included in your usability testing
- Make it easy for people to contact your department to report web accessibility problems
Equity and inclusion considerations
- Use gender-inclusive language
- Expand limited gender, race, ethnicity, religion and sex markers, e.g. Man/Woman/Non-binary. Always provide an "Other" option and an option for people who would prefer not to identify themselves, e.g. "Prefer not to say"
- Consult the McGill Univerrsity Best Practices Resource for Front-Line Staff and Communications – Gender, Pronouns, etc.
- For French language considerations see, Université du Québec’s Guide de communication inclusive
- Learn more about web accessibility
- Web Services resources
- Related standards and policies
- Other recommended resources
Looking to learn more about how to build accessible websites? Navigate the tabs on the left to view our recommended resources.
Web Services resources
- Web accessibility at McGill
- What is an accessible web page and why should you care?
- Making images accessible to everyone
- Alternative text versions of images and diagrams
- Use plain language to create better websites
- Video and audio accessibility
- Accessibility for time-based media
- Accessibility checklist for custom or vendor-built websites
- IT Services Accessibility Considerations - Includes information about creating accessible PDFs
- See all web accessibility-related articles on the Web Services website
- Training opportunities
Related standards and policies
- Standard sur l'accessibilité des sites Web (SGQRI 008 2.0)
- Web accessibility requirements outlined by the Government of Quebec
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
- Web accessibility standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web
- How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference)
- A quick reference guide to accessibility guidelines defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- Making an accessible Canada for persons with disabilities (Accessible Canada Act, Bill C-81)
- The A11y Project checklist
- A handy resource that outlines many, but not all level A and AA concerns. Please note that the Standard sur l'accessibilité des sites Web (SGQRI 008 2.0) specifies a few exceptions and additions.
- Introduction to Web Accessibility, WebAIM
- WebAIM is a non-profit organization based at Utah State University in Logan, Utah that provides web accessibility solutions
Other recommended resources and webinars
- Introduction to Canadian Digital Accessibility Laws
- Accessibility: why you should get on board, GOV.UK
Alternative text resources
- Alternative Text – WebAIM - WebAIM is a non-profit organization based at Utah State University in Logan, Utah that provides web accessibility solutions
- Writing Effective and Accessible Alt Text tutorials by Clarissa Peterson, via Gymnasium
- Accessible Infographics – CSUN Universal Design Center
- Accessible Images, Icons and Emojis – Up Your A11y
- Alternative text versions of images and diagrams – McGill Web Services
- Write good Alt Text to describe images - Harvard University IT
Time based media resources
- Captioning videos: Microsoft Stream has a captioning feature, as does YouTube. If you are creating or uploading a video to social media, a quick Google search of the platform and “video captioning” (e.g. Instagram video captioning) should give you specific instructions for your platform.
- Transcribing audio: Microsoft has published a tutorial explaining the different ways you transcribe audio in Office 365.
- Pro tip: always review automated transcripts for accuracy, and to insert the appropriate punctuation. Technology does not replace the need for human review!
- Audio-description: Creating a described audio file takes a bit more research on your end to figure out the best way to do it. W3C Web Accessibility Initiatives provides a helpful guide to what considerations to make when creating audio-described video files.