Website Accessibility Assessment
Disability Services has purchased a one-year HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff application site license for use by the University of Minnesota Web community. The software aids in identifying accessibility issues, provides information on the importance of accessibility features, provides resources for understanding and resolving accessibility issues, and highlights accessibility issues in both the rendered view and the source code.
HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff Features
- Checking the accessibility of Web sites;
- Checking for broken links;
- Spell checking;
- Checking for private information.
The software is available free of charge to anyone at the University of Minnesota seeking to improve the accessibility of their Web presence. All Web designers are encouraged to request an account and scan their site for accessibility. It’s easy to get started, just submit an account request.
Getting Started with HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff
You can begin using Compliance Sheriff as soon as you receive your account credentials. Point your browser to http://z.umn.edu/hisoftware and log in with your received credentials.
Note: Please make a note of your password, as the software does not use the UMN Internet login. It is recommended that you change your password to something that you can easily remember in the Admin tab of the application.
- Start a Scan
- Enter the URL of the site to be scanned.
- Select how many levels deep to scan the site.
- Select the checkpoints to scan against.
- Run the Scan
- View the Results
- Make Improvements to the Site (based on the results of the scan)
- Repeat the Scan (note changes in the “Health” score)
Although UMN Web Designers may configure any of the available scan types and criteria within the Compliance Sheriff software, it is recommended that initial scans use the "UMN Standards" checkpoint group. This scan ensures compliance with the University of Minnesota Accessibility of Information Technology (AIT) policy and standards, and is a hybrid of checkpoints from Section 508 and WCAG 2.0(A, AA).
Note: UMN Web Designers can see each other's scans and also scan each other's sites. Please be considerate of other people's work.
The Health Score
The initial Compliance Sheriff scan of a Website may return a low “Health Score.” Do not be discouraged or upset. Rather, consider this score a starting point for analysis, discussion, and planning.
There may be many factors that contribute to a low Health Score.
- The number of checkpoints used in the scan — Typically, a relatively large number of checkpoints will result in a lower Health Score. It is recommended that scans use the UMN scan template (choose UMN Standards checkpoing group). Additional scans can be configured to meet individual needs and interests.
- Components of the Website that are not directly under the Web designers control — For example, the code generated directly by the content management system. Typically these types of issues are more difficult to address and may require long term evaluation of a Web hosting strategy.
- Components of the Web site that are directly under the Web designers’ control
An analysis may reveal that a Web designer may have numerous items to address in order to bring a Website into compliance with the University of Minnesota Accessibility of Information Technology standards. It is recommended that a Web designer engage their units’ IT director to plan a strategy for addressing the identified accessibility issues.
The HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff application is a tool intended to help Web Developers make their sites to be the best they can be. We hope you will find Compliance Sheriff to be a useful and valuable tool. The goal is to make the University of Minnesota Web presence welcoming and accessible to all users and visitors. Thank you for your efforts towards this goal.
The UMN scan template
The UMN scan template in HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff is custom created for UMN use to include the standards identified in the University of Minnesota AIT policy. In creating this scan template we first created a document on how the UMN AIT standards match with Section 508 and WCAG standards. This document is provided here for primarily documentation purposes.
Let's adhere to some naming conventions to help us with the organization of scans in HiSoftware. When naming scans, please construct the scan name to consist of 3 parts separated by an underscore:
- Unit abbreviation that performs the scan - this will help sort the scans by unit
- Site URL - to know what site was scanned
- Checkpint group(s) - to help with what checkpoints were used in the scan
Using this convention, an example scan name would be DS_ds.umn.edu_Sect508.