Ground Works is a platform founded on the ideas of inclusion and community. We want everyone - regardless of abilities - to be able to participate in the vibrant dialogue around arts-integrative research we believe Ground Works will house.
We are nevertheless committed to investing in accessible content that is available to the broadest possible audience. To this end, and whenever feasible, Ground Works aims to meet the latest WCAG AA Standards (currently WCAG 2.1 AA) in both the platform and its content. This requires that our web platform, for the casual viewer and for submitters, reviewers, and others involved in the editorial processes, should be:
- Perceivable: Content is available and accessible through assistive devices, e.g., screen readers.
- Operable: The user interface allows interactions for all users, irrespective of the device or assistive tools they use to access our content.
- Understandable: Information, and the user interface itself, is intuitive and understandable.
- Robust: Content is reliably available through a wide range of devices, including assistive technologies.
We will do this by providing well designed interfaces, infrastructure and resources to support accessible articles, image descriptions, transcripts for audio, captions for video, and alternative formats for digitized content.
Summary: Ground Works is committed to making this platform accessible to everyone. We attempt to fully adherence to Section 508 and W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as we move this project from small pilot to an open-publishing platform.
Narrative and Process to Date
In a summer 2019 meeting, members of the Ground Works Advisory Board raised the issue of site accessibility as a key concern for the platform as it matures. Ground Works Advisors--in particular, Cheryl Ball of Wayne State University Libraries--offered expert advice on how to prioritize the implementation of an accessibility plan for the platform.
In autumn 2019, the Ground Works team began a consultation with the University of Michigan Library Digital Accessibility Team that led to an initial accessibility evaluation of the groundworks.io site. This evaluation surfaced Ground Works accessibility issues, and laid out a roadmap for developing the type of fully accessible platform the Ground Works staff and advisors envision.
In 2020, Ground Works technical staff brought all three user interfaces — visitor, submitter, reviewer — in line with current WCAG standards. We extend thanks to the University of Michigan Office of Institutional Equity for then "test-driving" the platform for accessibility; they ran a user audit of the Ground Works visitor and submitter interfaces in spring 2021. Ground Works staff is using the results of this audit to further improve accessibility on the platform.
Help and Support
As part of our commitment to accessibility, we aim to regularly review content for the latest accessibility features, but at times we might fall short. If you have thoughts on how we can do better, please contact us. We invite you to reach out using the 'Get Help' link located on the left of the screen, to:
- To share feedback on your experience of the site ;
- To request accessible versions of content; and/or
- To report difficulty with accessing a part of the site; or its media.
If you are an author and need assistance with preparing an accessible submission for the Ground Works platform, we similarly invite you to reach out. Where possible, we will support you in developing your article and media into accessible formats.