2021-2022 was a particularly engaged year for the McMaster Accessibility Advisory Council, culminating in an official name change in 2022 from the McMaster Accessibility Council (MAC) to the McMaster Accessibility Advisory Council (MAAC) to better articulate how the Council oversees and governs accessibility and AODA compliance policies, plans, and procedures at the University. Detailed information about MAAC activities from Jan. 1 – Dec 31st, 2021, are available from the 2021 Annual Accessibility Activities Report.
Highlights from the 2021 Report include:
- The ongoing development and public consultation for the DRAFT University Accessibility Policy (campus consultation forthcoming in spring / summer 2023),
- Updates on the 2021 AODA Environmental Scan for 2021 AODA compliance reporting,
- Updates on the first phase of McMaster’s Web Accessibility Roadmap Rollout,
- Community work of the Employee Accessibility Network, the Disability Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, and NeuroDiversity (DIMAND Working Group), the AccessMac Program, and cross-campus partners in leading accessibility consultation for the University and educational programming for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 2021 and National Accessibility Week, 2022,
- And more!
Additionally, we would like to highlight the establishment of a new Lifts Protocol for the campus community to access the several lifts on-campus that require key card access. Information about the Protocol, which is currently being facilitated in partnership between the Equity and Inclusion Office and the Library, can be found on McMaster’s Accessibility Hub website. Thank you to all campus partners, and in particular Student Accessibility Services, for directing those who require lift access to this resource for support.
Finally, we’d like to feature the work that was championed by the Gender & Sexuality Working Group (G&S) under the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) and brought forward to the Barrier-Free Standard Committee to reinvigorate and make publicly available an Accessibility / All-Genders Washroom Directory, available from the Accessibility Hub website. This resource is still currently in Excel spreadsheet format, with plans to develop into a more fulsome resource in near future.
Contributors: Anne Pottier, McMaster Accessibility Advisory Council (MAAC) Chair, Kate Brown, (MAAC Consultant, Equity and Inclusion Office)
Continued Roll-Out of McMaster’s Web Accessibility Roadmap
Clark Cipryk has provided support and consultation for achieving web accessibility with McMaster websites. He presented several webinars in the AODA Compliance Support Series, touching on topics such as “Image Alternative Text” and “Manual Testing for Web Accessibility”. Clark has also supported a variety of groups across campus on how to use our automated accessibility scanning tool known as Pope Tech through how-to guides and one-to-one consultations to assist in interpreting the results found.
To be added to McMaster’s growing AODA Web Accessibility Roadmap SharePoint, and to benefit from resources, such as the Web Accessibility Process Checklist, please contact Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributors: Clark Cipryk (University Technology Services), Kate Brown (Equity and Inclusion Office), and Jessica Blackwood (Faculty of Science)
Accessibility Compliance for McMaster Websites
The representatives from MPS (Melanie, Simon), CMPA (Anthony), EIO (Kate), Faculty of Science (Jessica) and UTS (Clark) met weekly since September 2022 to address accessibility compliance for McMaster websites. Through a variety of efforts to investigate and understand the reports from our automated accessible scanning tool, Pope Tech, the team was able to reduce the error count in Pope Tech for the MacSites site template by an additional, 72%.
Other efforts include manual testing audits and remediation to the MacSites template, education both within the group + across campus, sharing knowledge on current web management processes and reviewing where improvements can be made campus wide. An amazingly motivated team who have reached impressive milestones so far on moving McMaster websites into AODA compliance. Work to be continued in 2023.
Click here to join McMaster’s growing AODA Web Accessibility Roadmap Team.
Contributors: Melanie Phillips, Simon Oakley (Media Production Services), Anthony Lucic (Communications, Marking, and Public Affairs), Clark Cipryk (University Technology Services), Jessica Blackwood (Faculty of Science), and Kate Brown (Equity and Inclusion Office)