Evidence Evaluation Matrix: A Guide to Help Accreditation Review Teams Navigate the GOALS Reviewer Guidance Documents

This resource is intended for members of an accreditation review team. If you are not one of those individuals, and you are interested in the content of this resource, you may want to familiarize yourself with GOALS guidance for accreditors.

The following information is designed to assist review teams to navigate the reviewer guidance documents developed by Project GOALS. A matrix follows the introduction with recommendations on where to look in order to find useful information on the varying categories of evidence.

As legislation changes and higher education starts to recognize its importance, institutions are working to improve the accessibility of their websites. Given the scope of work, some may choose to include their web accessibility efforts as part of the reaffirmation process.

Assessing the quality of institutional web accessibility for an accreditation portfolio can be a complex issue. It can be especially challenging when those reviewing materials for quality are not familiar with the topic. Therefore, Project GOALS is developing a set of resources that can be used by review teams and institutions to help them determine the quality of evidence related to web accessibility. A series of Guidelines for Evaluating Institutional Evidence of Web Accessibility are currently in development and new segments will be added each month until they are complete. The completed sections are linked in the matrix below. The full set of Accreditation Resource Documents is also available and contains templates, information and additional guidance.

The evaluation guidelines are based on a set of Best Practices for Institution-Wide Web Accessibility consisting of four indicators, each focusing on an essential aspect of institution-wide web accessibility:

When reviewing evidence, these indicators may provide a good overview of the elements necessary for web accessibility. However, individual documents or sections of evidence may not fit neatly (or obviously) into the indicators above. A greater degree of granularity may be required in order to assess the evidence in context. Therefore, we have developed the following matrix to help you to find the applicable evaluation support for the evidence that you are reviewing.

The matrix lists common areas or aspects of accessibility that may relate to the evidence at hand. For each area, we list the most likely places to find the appropriate guidance for that evidence. Some evidence may be contained within one or two of the links but others may span across several areas.

It should be noted that in order to truly achieve institution-wide web accessibility, addressing one or two issues is not sufficient. For example, an institution cannot claim to be accessible by merely doing some training or creating a policy. However, these actions are good first steps on the road to an accessible web presence.

If the evidence addresses:

You may want to reference:

Policy

Indicator 1 - Benchmark A (leadership)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark A (stakeholder inclusion)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark B*(policy specifics)
Indicator 4 - Benchmark C (ongoing improvement)

Accessibility Planning and Implementation

Indicator 1 - Benchmark A (leadership)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark A (stakeholder inclusion)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark C*(plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D* (implementation)
Indicator 4 - Benchmark A (progress evaluation)
Indicator 4 - Benchmark C (ongoing improvement)

Resources and Budgeting

Indicator 1 - Benchmark A (leadership)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark C (plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D (implementation)
Indicator 3 - Benchmark B (time and effort)
Indicator 3 - Benchmark C (budget)

Promotion and Publicity

Indicator 1 - Benchmark A (leadership)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark C (plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D (implementation)

Personnel

Indicator 1 - Benchmark B (stakeholder participation)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark A (stakeholder inclusion)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark C (plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D (implementation)
Indicator 3 - Benchmark A (hiring and incentives)
Indicator 3 - Benchmark B (budget)

Evaluation and Feedback

Indicator 1 - Benchmark B (stakeholder participation)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark C (plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D (implementation)
Indicator 4 - Benchmark B (accessibility outcomes)

Training and Support

Indicator 2 - Benchmark C (plan specifics)
Indicator 2 - Benchmark D (implementation)
Indicator 3 - Benchmark D* (training and technical support)
Indicator 4 - Benchmark C (ongoing improvement)

Purchasing, Procurement and Product Development

Indicator 3 - Benchmark E* (procurement)

*We have highlighted those benchmarks that are devoted specifically to the issue named with a bold font and an asterisk.