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Accessibility & SEO

Thursday, May 21, 2020 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone thinking and learning about digital accessibility and inclusion for people with different disabilities. Take some time to review some key web accessibility principles and familiarize yourself with the Accessibility Checker in Adobe AEM.

With less than a year away, January 1st, 2021 also marks the day of an important compliance deadline we must fulfil under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

All websites at Ryerson must meet Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 by January 1st, 2021. This is a mandatory legal requirement stipulated by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This law also applies to anything you upload to your website such as PDF documents, forms, and other media. These requirements are designed to make your website accessible for people with disabilities and people who use assistive technology.

If you own, manage or update a Ryerson-related website, you are responsible for ensuring it meets these requirements. Non-compliance may result in financial penalties depending on the severity or impact of accessibility issues.

  • WCAG 2.0 = Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organization for the Internet.
  • Level AA = The level of conformance required in Ontario (excluding live captioning and audio descriptions for videos). Your website must satisfy all Level A and AA Success Criteria (guidelines) in order to be compliant.

Step 1: Understand the basics

Learn how to create an accessible, compliant website with the following guides.

Alternative Text Guide

How to write effective and meaningful text alternatives. 

Heading Structure

How to structure headings correctly for accessibility and SEO.

Link Text & Writing

Best practices on writing for the web and all audiences.

SEO Tips & Tricks

Tips to make your website discoverable.

Step 2: Use the built-in accessibility checker

The in-page accessibility checker will instantly check your page for accessibility and usability issues when enabled. The tool checks for content issues such as images missing alternative text, non-descriptive hyperlinks, poor heading structure, incorrect use of components and much more.

Screenshot of the accessibility checker flagging two errors.

Get Help

For help with website accessibility, please contact Adam Chaboryk.

Adam Chaboryk
IT Accessibility Specialist
Digital Media Projects, Computing and Communication Services
adam.chaboryk@ryerson.ca
416-979-5000, ext. 553284

If you are looking for assistance with SEO and content strategy, please contact Michael Lund.

Michael Lund
Manager, Digital Experience
University Relations
michael.lund@ryerson.ca
416-979-5000, ext. 3337