Who is responsible to ensure all web content is accessible?  

This is a group effort.  The policy states that staff in the units have to ensure that all new Cornell University websites and web applications, including content or functionality added to existing Cornell University websites or web applications, are accessible to the standards set in the policy, and are monitored and maintained in an accessible state.

This means content editors in the departments, as well as any technical staff and designers who develop apps and/or build websites, are responsible for their work being accessible.  Project managers and service managers also need to be aware of the requirement and ensure that project plans include the work required to ensure accessibility.

It also means that leadership has to prioritize and support work to ensure accessibility on projects whether we are building it or contracting with a vendor. This includes ensuring that their staff are properly trained and/or there are funds to outsource things like PDF remediation.

Designer responsibilities for websites and apps

  • Color contrast
  • Readability – font size and font size changing
  • Heading Structure
  • Navigation and menus
  • Links – not just identified by color also underlining
  • Testing

Developer responsibilities websites and apps

  • Page structure / tab order
  • Bypass links (skip navigation; skip to main content)
  • Templates
  • Forms
  • Scripts
  • CMS functionality
  • Testing

Content Manager responsibilities for websites or web apps where staff are entering content

  • Overall flow, organization and entry of content – to include consistent navigation throughout the site 
  • Links – link text; expected behavior
  • Headings – purpose; structure
  • Images – alt text; images as links; information versus decorative images; images of text; complex images
  • Ensuring that PDFs are accessible and multi-media (recordings, videos, etc.) are properly captioned and/or there are transcripts.
  • Checking Siteimprove

Who is responsible for testing?

Testing new websites and apps and ensuring that existing content and functionality remain accessible over time is also a group effort including end users/content editors, application support staff and developers. 

Any new web-based project should include web accessibility testing as part of the implementation plan.

  • SSIT developers working on custom apps should conduct automated tests, keyboard accessibility tests, and screen reader testing of custom widgets during the build/creation phase. They may also work together with Application Support staff for some testing.
  • Prior to launching a new site or app, comprehensive manual testing should be performed to identify accessibility issues missed during the previous phases of development.
  • Vendors need to be testing and remediating their own products. However, we will need to be doing some testing as well to verify their results.
  • Not all content editors need to be familiar with (and checking) SiteImprove at regular intervals. However, there needs to at least be one “super user” for each area or template that can keep an eye on the SiteImprove reports and work with staff who are publishing content that isn’t accessible.

See more information on the Testing page.