Checking Website Accessibility with Siteimprove

Accessible sites reach a bigger and more diverse audience, are easier for everyone to use, and comply with UC policy. Siteimprove is a cloud service that enables you to systematically review your sites for accessibility.

Sites are crawled on a regular basis – every five days – and reports identifying accessibility errors and how to fix them are issued to the site owner.

Getting Started

UC has a systemwide contract with Siteimprove that provides for unlimited users and allows an unlimited number of pages to be scanned. To get a Siteimprove account and start scanning your site(s):

  1. First, ask everyone who will need access to your reports to login to Siteimprove to create an individual user account. The UC account uses single sign-on.

  2. Next, send an email to OIT with the url(s) of the site(s) you would like to have scanned by Siteimprove, and the users who need access.

  3. You will receive an email when your site(s) have been scanned, and the next time you login, you'll see your dashboard.

For more infomation, watch the Siteimprove User Training.

There's also a helpful starting page just for UC site admins.

* Note:  Siteimprove monitors UC public sites only. To test password-protected sites, use the  Siteimprove Chrome extension.

SiteImprove Digital Accessibility Metric

UCI websites are part of the everyday experience of employees, students, and community members. Given the importance of these sites, it is vital for them to be accessible for people with disabilities.

Accessible websites are designed well for everyone. All images have tags identifying their content. Videos have captions that allow people to view them in loud environments. Webpages have headings that allow for easy and efficient navigation.

The UC system offers Siteimprove free of charge to help web designers make their sites accessible. After an easy registration process, Siteimprove will crawl a website and present the designer with a list of issues to fix. Web designers can also set Siteimprove to provide regular updates showing any changes in accessibility. While Siteimprove is an automated system with limitations in what it can detect, this service makes maintaining website accessibility substantially easier.

Required Minimum SiteImprove Scores

All UCI websites will achieve a minimum of:

  • 95% Compliance with WCAG2.1 level A guidelines
  • 90% Compliance with WCAG 2.1 level AA guidelines

Recommended but not required standards:

In addition to the required scores above, the following optional standards are available to further increase accessibility:

  • WCAG 2.1 AAA

The application of design standards is what creates accessibility. Consider seeking input from people with different disabilities.

What are some resources to learn about these standards?

Ensuring web accessibility is our obligation so that everyone can fully engage with and benefit from UCI’s bright past and brilliant future. If you are unsure of where to begin in improving your web accessibility score, we recommend Siteimprove.

Siteimprove is a powerful cloud service that supports efforts to systematically improve web accessibility. By conducting regular crawls at 5-day intervals, Siteimprove generates an accessibility report. This report flags accessibility issues and offers recommendations on top priority fixes. Additionally, Siteimprove shares in-context how-to support to make it easier for you to make intentional and targeted changes and improve your site’s accessibility score. Let’s embrace the power of inclusion and create websites that leave no one behind.

 We recommend the following:

  1. Check your WCAG 2.1 level A and AA scores: Review your accessibility scores and determine how well your sites align with the above targets.
  2. Improve your WCAG 2.1 level A and AA scores: View the  Issues page in the Accessibility dashboard. Use the sorting features to sort by conformance, difficulty, responsibility, points you can gain and more to prioritize fixes.
  3. Maintain accessibility: As you continue to update your site, set up a bi-weekly or monthly schedule to check your site scores and confirm that your sites are accessible to all audiences.