Accessibility in the UBCMS

UB follows state and federal mandates regarding universal accessibility.

On this page:

All websites and connected content must comply with UB policies. If you have questions about accessibility, please consult UB Accessibility.

Last reviewed: May 31, 2024


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and corresponding state regulations require our websites to be accessible for all users.

Accessibility refers to equivalent experience for people with or without visual, physical or cognitive impairments, and covers our Web pages, as well as any connected or embedded content including third party systems. Accessible practice follows Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as well as UB's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Policy and Policy Guidance.

Each unit must have a Web Accessibility Laision, and then UB's overall efforts are led by the EIT Accessibility Officer in the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. You can find more information on their Accessibility at UB website.

Keeping our UB websites accessible is a federal law. Your team is responsible to identify and remediate identified accessibility issues as pages are built using SiteImprove scans.

Accessibility Scanning Tools

SiteImprove is a Web accessibility review product provided for use by UB constituents by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. All UBCMS sites are routinely added to SiteIprove when they are created. Initial scans for new sites will take a couple of days to appear, then going forward, reports on new or modified pages should be available within a day.

All pages are automatically scanned unless they are secure, but these pages can still be scanned by the browser plugin.

Units are responsible for WCAG 2.1 level A and AA conformance Issues and Potential Issues (more details on WCAG guidelines).

In addition, the SiteImprove browser plugin can be used for 'just in time' scans of individual pages or scanning a page in Author before it is published (hint, use 'View as Published'). Where slight differences show up between it and the main SiteImprove tool (or other tools), please refer to the main SiteImprove tool as the authoritative reference.

Siteimprove has interactive tutorials and an FAQ but you will need access to the tool to view them.

Expand Your Knowledge

UB Policies & Practices

Professional Development / Training Opportunities

Best Practices for UBCMS Content and Components

Audio Transcripts

Custom Code (CSS, HTML, Javascript)


File Download



Headings (titles)

Images (Alt text)


News Stories and Other Content Archives

Slideshows and Carousels



Text Components

Third Party Content (external embeds)


SiteImprove Known Issues

    • New (pilot) Photo Gallery - under investigation
      • Issue: SiteImprove warns about an empty unordered list (missing the <li> list items) for the slides, but the slides are all there and are coded correctly for your live site.
      • Resolution: This error is not accurate and can be ignored.
      • Further Implications: This issue may also indicate that SiteImprove is not testing each of the slides individually, and may thus be missing any associated accessibility issues. We are currently investigating the cause.
    • Photo Gallery - false positive
      • Issue: Siteimprove may warn about images missing Alt text. For images that are referenced from Assets, even if you have correctly completed field(s) in the Assets images -- Alt text and/or Caption and/or Title -- SiteImprove may still warn there is no Alt text.
      • Resolution: This error is not accurate and can be ignored.
      • UPDATE: We believe this is now fixed. Please tell us if you continue to see it.
    • Search box in site header - false positive
    • Issue: SiteImprove flags the search box in the header and the details state "Tab to the element. Is it highlighted when reached by keyboard?" 
    • Resolution: If you open an example page in a new browser tab, and try tabbing, when the tab hits the search, the search box opens up and you can then type in a query. Also, this issue does not get flagged in the browser extension.
    • Search box in site header - false positive
    • Issue: SiteImprove flags the search box in the header and the details state “We weren't able to automatically detect the color contrast ratio of text on this page.” although on visual inspection, the contrasts looks reasonable (dark gray on white).
    • Resolution: SiteImprove’s engine is having trouble with the layered color and text of that feature. If you run the browser extension, it does not find an issue after all.
  • LINK IS BROKEN (403 'forbidden' error)
    • Bad link - may be a  false positive
    • Issue: SiteImprove may warn about a bad link with a 403 'forbidden' error code, but when you click the link it works fine. The link goes to an unsecure http:// page instead of https:// (with an S). 
    • Resolution: Change the URL to https:// (with an S) even if it is not a secure page. The browser will adjust to show the true URL when it loads the page.
    • Text Component - may be a false positive
      • Issue: SiteImprove may warn about links missing link text but the so-called link is just plain text, an unlinked URL written out on the page (e.g. in our documentation "http://...").
      • Resolution: This error is not accurate and can be ignored.
    • Image With a Link - will be remediated
      • Issue: SiteImprove warns that a link (from an image) has no text equivalent even though the image has an embedded Caption. Normally an image caption can stand instead of Alt text but links must always have link text or an Alt text alternative.
      • Resolution: This error is accurate. The workaround is to provide Alt text for any image that is also a link. Additionally, we will adjust the code this spring so that a caption will satisfy SiteImprove as a replacement for Alt text.
  • OVERUSE OF ITALICS (best practices)
    • Text Components, esp. Captions - often a false positive
      • Issue: SiteImprove flags a page for having too much emphasis when a block of text is italicized (or bolded). This occurs even when the paragraph is just several words, such as a photo caption.
      • Resolution: None needed. This is not a Conformance issue and is erroneously being applied to a small section of text that very reasonably could be emphasized (such as a caption or footnote).
    • Audio Player - false positive
      • Issue: SiteImprove warns about poor contrast for text labels on the Audio Player component but the colors are 666 over FFF which is sufficient contrast.
      • Resolution: This error is not accurate and can be ignored.
    • Navigation, Buttons or Teaser Labels - site-wide problem
    • Issue: Siteimprove may warn about the text labels on top navigation tabs or some headings or list teasers: 'Visitors should be able to scale text to 200% without losing any information.'  This occurs when a user manually adjusts their native font in the OS or browser to make it larger (not just by zooming the browser view).
    • Resolution: We need to discuss this further.

Report Accessibility Concerns

Unit Web Leaders and Site Owners or Managers can report any others that authors cannot remediate. This will help us to update our documentation and collaborate across campus.

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