uPortal Accessibility Audit and Remediation

Unicon embarked on an audit to ensure that uPortal meets the Web Content Accessibility Standards AA level rating (WCAG 2.0 AA). Our accessibility experts spent a week reviewing every major page in uPortal, looking for places where uPortal fell short of the accessibility standard. We identified issues around difficult to use forms, difficult to see text, images without descriptive text, etc. In total, 155 issues were identified.

We spent three weeks going through each issue logged in the audit, resolving the accessibility issue, then requesting feedback from the uPortal community on the changes. Two uPortal community members and three Unicon developers (outside the original auditors) gave additional feedback on the accessibility fixes ensuring they met both accessibility and quality guidelines.

All of the accessibility changes are now a part of Apereo uPortal. Institutions can try the changes today by getting the latest unreleased code from Apereo, or they can wait for Apereo to officially release the changes in uPortal 4.3.2 (tentatively targeted for late February 2017) or uPortal 5.0.0 (tentatively targeted for June 2017). Going forward, Unicon would like to maintain the Web Content Accessibility Standard AA level compliance.

Our target of a Web Content Accessibility Standards AA level rating brings uPortal into compliance with U.S. federal laws (Section 504, Section 508, and ADA), French law (RGAA 2016), and Canadian law (AODA 2020), among others. It also offers improved usability, not only for users with disabilities, but for all students and staff members at an institution.