Hamilton Health Sciences Plan for Web Accessibility
The following is a breakdown of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) plan for meeting and maintaining the accessibility standards for it’s external and internal websites as determined by the the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Hamilton Health Sciences falls under the definition of Public sector organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations (50+ staff). With this classification, we are required to meet the following accessibility standards on the associated timelines.
New public websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.
All public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012, must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions).
In regards to the 2014 deadline, The HHS Information and Communications Technology team (ICT) has been working closely with internal stakeholder to ensure that any sites currently in development will meet these standards. 2014 will see the launching of 3-5 new external sites, all of which will conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.
Together we have drafted an initial document to redesign this site with the following criteria
a) Strict conformation to WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards
b) A portable design template that will allow for ALL external facing CMS-based sites to meet these same standards
Posting of Documents to the Web
In addition to making websites compliant to AODA standards, there is the related issue of making documents posted on the web equally accessible.
There are set steps recommended by WC3 to ensure documents are fully accessible and even offer step-by-step instructions for staff as they prepare documents for posting. These steps are available here: http://www.doi.gov/ocio/information_management/upload/Guide_for_Creating_Accessible_Documents.pdf
Implementing these guidelines will require staff education, which we are in the process of communicating.
HHS will not wait until 2021 to implement these changes and will, over the next 2 years, act proactively to meet these standards and exceed them. In addition HHS and ICT will work to continually assess its web sites and content to ensure compliance is ongoing.
In the past year, HHS has delivered a small number of associated ‘sub sites’ (websites affiliated with HHS as well as other clinics and services in the community) all of whom adhere to these guidelines. Further, each of these sites even offers ‘text only’ versions for every page on the site and this option is accessible from the front page of each respective site.
As for our current community-facing websites, we are in planning stages to have them redesigned for the year 2016 well ahead of the deadline set before us.
If the information you require is clinical in nature, please first follow up with your healthcare team.
In the meantime, if you require information from our website or if you have received information from us that you require in an accessible format, please contact either the Patient Experience or the Public relations team and they will provide it for you in the format you require.
The Patient Experience Team can be reached by calling our main intake line at 905-521-2100, extension 75240 from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30 pm. The Patient Experience co-ordinators will take your information and forward this to the appropriate team member. The team is also available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Public Relations team can be reached by calling our main intake line at 905-521-2100, extension 75387 from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30 pm. The Public Relations co-ordinators will take your information and forward this to the appropriate team member. The team is also available via email at email@example.com.