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The University of Maryland, Baltimore is committed to maintaining web accessibility standards.
What is Accessibility?
Website accessibility means that users with disabilities have equal access and equal opportunity to browse the UMB website. The University web policy requires web pages and websites to be accessible.
For example, a visually impaired individual might rely on an automated screen reader to read aloud the contents of a web page. That web page must be properly formatted and tagged for the screen reader to read and correctly interpret everything on the page.
When the umaryland website was relaunched in 2014, the new web templates were designed from the ground up to meet accessibility standards based on research into Section 508 and WCAG 2.0. Since that initial launch, numerous updates have been made to the templates as further analysis brought to light areas that could be improved.
The Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) renewed our focus on web accessibility in 2016, when we reached out to accessibility experts from other institutions and opened new research into the latest accessibility standards. After extensive research we drafted new, more comprehensive guides to help web content managers meet accessibility requirements, including extensive instructions for applying accessible tags to PDFs and properly formatting HTML tables for easy interpretation by screen readers. Some accessibility guidelines also were outlined in our Web Tips email newsletters for web content managers.
Content on the umaryland website is managed by a large network of people with diverse skillsets and areas of expertise. Our goal is to empower every web content manager to police their own content for accessibility concerns, and ensure they have the knowledge and tools they need to maintain a high standard of accessibility for their content.
In the spring of 2016, a series of public workshops were held for web content managers and experts to discuss web accessibility practices. At these workshops, CPA shared our research into best practices for remediating accessibility issues, discussed how to maintain an accessible web presence, and addressed the questions and concerns of attendees.
The CPA web team provides weekly office hours for web content managers and editors to receive one-on-one trainings and have their questions answered.
Do you have a question for the CPA web team?
If you edit or manage web content on umaryland.edu, you can sign up for office hours to consult with our developers and web content experts. If you work on a School's website, please contact that School's IT department.
When accessibility issues arise, such as images with improper alternative text or PDF’s without sufficient accessible markup, they must be corrected on a case-by-case basis. As part of our ongoing efforts to police accessibility standards, the entire umaryland website is scanned on a regular basis to detect these sorts of issues, and reports are sent to the web content managers who maintain the content in question. Guidance and assistance are provided to help make corrections where necessary.
As of 2018, UMB has begun using SiteImprove as a tool for assessing and tracking accessibility issues on the web. This tool, which has more rigorous scanning capabilities and more versatile reporting and delegation options, further improves our ability to identify and correct accessibility issues.
Need help meeting these standards on a umaryland.edu site or one that shares its template? Please refer to:Accessibility Documentation
- SiteImprove Accessibility Guidelines
- Creating Accessible Documents
- Instructions for PDFs
- Accessibility Resources
To find out more about the University’s accessibility measures outside of the web, visit Educational Support & Disability Services.
Questions or Comments?
Please submit any comments or questions about web accessibility to the Web Feedback form.