Improving accessibility across UCL websites

About the project

Scroll helped UCL with accessibility audits of their websites, to check compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. We also delivered training workshops about inclusive content.

The challenge

The project focussed on creating inclusive digital services and making sure that all UCL websites met level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), in line with the UK’s legal accessibility requirements.

UCL websites varied in the overall user experience each offered. There was a need to pinpoint and raise awareness of what the issues were with accessibility and quality, and who was responsible for fixing them.

Results

  • Highlighted common accessibility and quality assurance issues across UCL websites.
  • Raised awareness of issues with website owners and editors, so that they can achieve compliance with the WCAG.
  • Promoted the importance of developing user-centred inclusive content and writing for the web.

The client

UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university with over 600 websites serving students, academics, staff and research projects.

The solution

Given the volume of websites UCL has, they took the decision to audit the top 50 most trafficked sites for accessibility and quality assurance using a tool called Siteimprove.

A Scroll content designer and a UCL employee undertook this task, which provided enough data to surface the accessibility and quality issues. We prioritised fixes according to:

  • how often they occurred in the sites we audited
  • how much fixing the issue would improve the overall accessibility score of a website

Issues were grouped by who owned the fixes – the Digital Presence team (responsible for the technical accessibility of websites) or site editors. The technical accessibility fixes we carried out had a positive overall impact on scores across UCL websites.

However, we realised that we needed to raise awareness of accessibility issues with the website owners and editors. We needed to communicate project findings and make recommendations to address key issues around content accessibility and readability.

The Scroll content designer planned, designed and delivered pilot inclusive content training workshops, focusing on following a user-centred approach to creating inclusive content and writing for the web. The aim was to support knowledge transfer on accessibility and help to achieve compliance with the WCAG.

What they say about working with Scroll

“Scroll’s work on accessibility was of huge value to UCL as we were able to entrust a content expert with the task of evaluating content quality and accessibility and putting together some great resources to support and educate UCL web editors on creating inclusive content.”

Clare Kennedy, Digital Service and Experience Manager, UCL

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