Our Commitment to Accessibility

At Western, everyone should be able to learn, work, and Make Waves. We do our part each day by making our digital content accessible for all users. Digital content includes Western websites, media, documents, and other applications. Making accessible content means equal access to education, the services we provide, and above all, the Western experience.

Reach out or report

To report an accessibility barrier to the Bias Response team, please fill out the Bias and Discrimination reporting form. You can also report barriers, or ask questions, by email or phone.

Conformance

Western continues to work towards Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA compliance. These guidelines are outlined in the policy 1600.07 Ensuring Accessible Information Technology.

Additional accessibility considerations

Although our goal is WCAG 2.1 Level AA conformance, we have also applied some Level AAA Success Criteria. Examples include:

  • Some pages use breadcrumb navigation to assist with site navigation, and indicates the user’s current location within the navigation.
  • Our Drupal, WordPress, and Campusweb platforms use landmarks to indicate major sections of our pages.
  • Line heights and font sizes on most pages are not fixed, so they should be readable at 200% font size and above.
  • Controls like buttons and links in the theme have adequate touch target size, measuring 44 by 44 pixels or larger. Some patterns in our library also meet this height requirement, such as styled links, image buttons, icon with text links, and interactive cards.
  • Text alignment adheres to best practices, such as not being justified.

Other Resources

Current and Ongoing Efforts

  • Employ a web accessibility engineer and digital technologies accessibility coordinator.
  • The Information Technology Accessibility Committee (ITAC) meets monthly and includes key staff and faculty across Western's departments.
  • All web editors take accessibility training before editing websites.
  • We develop and maintain accessibility guides in our design system.
    • Current email, imagery, social media, and video guides include accessibility info.
    • The Accessibility Guide in our design system specifically highlights best practices for web accessibility.
  • Western's main web theme, Ashlar, is designed to be as accessible from the ground up and meet WCAG 2.1 at Level AA at its base components.
    • We continually test for accessibility and improvement in our theme and components.
    • The testing engine included with the theme checks for issues before changes are proposed.
    • Leveraging our theme allows for the rapid creation of websites that are accessible and mobile-first.

Technical specifications

Western's websites are developed to work in various operating systems and browsers. The following lists contain the most common systems, but not all.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS and iPadOS
  • Android

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Safari

User Settings

Western's Ashlar-based websites are also designed to work regardless of user preferences such as:

  • different display modes like high contrast or color filters,
  • magnification and zoom, and
  • browser text sizes.

Learn how you can adjust your browser's display or text size as you prefer.

Note about Internet Explorer

Western's web platforms no longer develop for Internet Explorer. This is because its usage is less than 1% of our total users, and it's no longer recommended for use by Microsoft.

To get the most predictable functionality, we recommend using one of the browsers previously listed under "Technical Specifications," or a modern browser of your preference.