Recruiting for web accessibility skills instruction

Instruction statement

Ensure schools and business units are able to maintain compliance with the University’s standards for web accessibility by recruiting web and multimedia specialists with the appropriate knowledge and skills.

Exclusions

This instruction does not apply to:

  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)
  • web authoring tools not provided or supported by the University
  • student work used for an online showcase
  • academic research or experimental works not used for official purposes by the University
  • courseware that cannot be reasonably supplied in accessible formats, such as simulation tools. In this case the educational designer and academic coordinate alternatives with the Disability Liaison Unit as required.

Instruction steps and actions

Instruction (including key points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Incorporate all of the relevant selection criteria into position descriptions for web or multimedia specialist staff.

2. Incorporate at least two of the following selection criteria, and related interview questions into the selection process. Sometimes multiple questions are provided for one selection criterion. Choose one that best fits your needs. The answers provided are a guide to the kind of responses you should expect from staff who meet the selection criteria.

3. Where suitably skilled staff cannot be recruited, ensure that accessibility training is provided to web and multimedia specialists.

Human Resources will be responsible for ensuring position descriptions have the necessary selection criteria.

Selection committees or those interviewing prospective staff will be responsible for selecting relevant questions to assess candidates against the accessibility-related selection criteria.

Before beginning the process of recruiting web or multimedia specialists, including contractors.

All web and multimedia specialists

Selection criterion

Related interview question

Answer

Knowledge of legislation relevant to the Australian education sector with regard to accessible web design

What legislation do universities have to comply with when it comes to ensuring access to its online resources for people with disabilities?

Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Knowledge of disabilities that might affect people’s use of the web, and of some of the assistive technology that may be used by people with disabilities

What sort of disabilities might affect the way people use the web, and how?

The main disabilities that affect use of the web are related to vision, hearing, mobility/motor control and cognition/learning.

For more information, see How people with disabilities use the web.

Familiarity with international standards for accessible web design

What are the international standards for accessible web design? What is their status in Australia?

The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (currently at version 2.0) are the main international standard for web resources. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) advise that organisations should create web resources that meet this standard to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Understanding of some of the key benefits of accessible web design

Question 1. What are some of the key benefits of accessible web design?

Question 2. Apart from the legal compliance, why should a university care about making web resources accessible to people with disabilities? What does it gain?

Question 3. What are three of the most common misconceptions about accessible web design and why do you think they are wrong?

There are social, business, legal and technical benefits that can be gained from accessible design.

For more information, see Developing a web accessibility business case for your organisation.

Answer to question 3 could include any of the following:

  • Text only websites are a good solution for accessibility
  • Accessible websites are boring and unattractive
  • Accessible web design stifles creativity
  • Accessible web design is difficult and expensive
  • Only blind people need accessible web sites
  • Automated tools can verify if a web site is accessible.

Willingness to advocate and promote accessible design

Question 1. How would you handle a situation where you were working with a designer who felt that accessibility was stifling their creativity?

Question 2. If you were asked to give a presentation on accessibility to a group of managers who had ultimate responsibility for a website, what would be some of the key things you would include?

Their answer should indicate a willingness to engage with others and advocate accessible design, even in difficult situations.

Developers, designers, accessibility or usability specialists

Selection criterion

Related interview question

Answer

Experience in creating resources that meet the international standards for accessible web design.

Question 1. What experience have you had in creating accessible web resources? Do you have any examples you should show us?

Question 2. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a [designer/developer/accessibility specialist/] in trying to make web resources that are accessible?

The answer should indicate a level of experience and understanding sufficient for the position: a more senior position or a position as a sole designer/developer requires more experience than a junior or design team position.

Experience evaluating online resources for compliance with international accessible design standards.

Question 1. What experience have you had evaluating online resources for accessibility?

Question 2. Tell us how you would go about evaluating an online resource for compliance with accessible design standards?

Question 3. What sort of tools do you use when evaluating online resources for accessibility?

Question 4. What are some of the most common problems you find when evaluating online resources for accessibility?

The answer for question 1, 2 and 3 should indicate:

  • Use of manual (e.g. looking at source code) and/or automated (e.g. using testing tools) evaluation methods, and sometimes methods involving disabled users, though this approach is not common
  • Testing for conformance with a specific WCAG conformance level (Level A, Level AA, Level AAA)
  • For question 4, you should expect to hear about design problems and how they impact people with certain types of disabilities.

For more information, Accessibility evaluation resources.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]