Boston University
Minimum Web Accessibility Standards

Under the University’s Website Policy (the “Policy”), all new and redesigned University Websites and Web-enabled content published after the Policy’s Effective Date must comply with these Minimum Web Accessibility Standards (MWAS). The MWAS articulate the minimum technical and visual requirements needed to comply with the Policy’s accessibility requirements for University Websites and Web-enabled content. Capitalized terms used in the MWAS but not defined have the meanings given in the Policy.

BU MWAS are based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 published by the World Wide Web Consortium and are intended to address the following four accessibility principles:

4 Core Principles

  • Perceivable

    Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

  • Operable

    User interface components and navigation must be operable.

  • Understandable

    Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

  • Robust

    Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

Covered Groups

The goal of the MWAS is to make content delivered on a University Website or Web-Enabled accessible content perceivable, operable, understandable and robust (as further described in the WCAG guidelines) to persons with disabilities, including persons with any of the following disabilities:

Visual Impairments

Visitors with blindness and other severe visual impairments typically use screen-reading software to access web content. Visitors with low vision may use additional methods such as enlarging screen fonts, software magnification of the screen, and/or enabling high-contrast display.

Color Blindness

Visitors with a color blindness may have difficulty distinguishing between certain color combinations, different shades of the same color, or may be unable to read text that contrasts poorly with a background color.

Deafness or Hard of Hearing

Visitors with audio impairments rely on text transcripts and other alternatives to audio content.

Motor Disabilities

Visitors may have difficulty or the inability to use pointing/clicking devices due to disease, injury, and/or congenital conditions. This can impact response times and navigation within web forms and page controllers.

Cognitive Disabilities

Visitors may have learning disabilities, conditions affecting reading comprehension, attention deficit and distractibility disorders, problems with memory and retention, and related conditions.

Compliance Guidelines

MWAS was developed by Information Services & Technology in collaboration with Marketing & Communications, Office of Disability Services, and the Office of General Counsel. MWAS will be reviewed and updated in accordance with the schedule outlined in the Web Accessibility Policy.

The guidelines are structured by compliance checkpoints. Each checkpoint is an item to consider when reviewing your content for accessibility.

Required elements must be implemented to maintain the MWAS.

Recommended elements should be considered and implemented as possible and/or when appropriate.

If you see this icon it means the following web accessibility standards are supported by Boston University’s Responsive Framework!

Last Resort

An accessible alternate page (e.g. text-only, non-Flash, non-dynamic, etc.) mirroring equivalent information or functionality, can be provided to make a web site comply with this policy, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of mirror pages must be updated every time the primary page changes. Separate, up-to-date, accessible “mirror pages” are used only as a last resort.