The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) is committed to ensuring our platforms are as accessible as possible for all users. To achieve this, a new OJS Default Theme was developed by PKP for OJS 3.3 and higher, and was audited for accessibility barriers.
An audit of the public facing OJS Default Theme on OJS version 3.3 was conducted by Access Changes Everything Inc., a Canadian digital accessibility consulting company, from July 2019 to March 2021. Access Changes Everything Inc. provided two audits using multiple automated checkers, and conducting extensive manual testing during the development process. As well, extensive auditing was conducted by paid testers with different disabilities, who used different technologies during the process; these technologies are listed below. Some of the same testers also participated in the final testing process.
This audit focused on lowering barriers on the Default Theme for people with different disabilities, such as visual, hearing, mobility, speech, communication, cognitive, neurological, intellectual, learning, and those with multiple disabilities.
This audit was done using the international standard that relates to OJS Default Theme accessibility, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and 2.2 Level AA. Note that Version 2.2 was only in Draft, as of May 2020.
The audit went much further than WCAG 2.1 or WCAG 2.2 (Draft) Level AA. It included items that are not currently included in WCAG, such colour blindness, font type and style, and lessening barriers that impact people with cognitive, neurological, intellectual and/or learning disabilities. The audit also included usability best practices, in order to make the site more accessible and usable for everyone.
The audit included testing of these areas:
Access Changes Everything Inc. paid multiple testers with different disabilities, who use different technologies, to test different parts of the Default Theme for OJS 3.3. The technologies used by testers included the newest, as well as older, versions of:
Access Changes Everything Inc. used Mac, PC and iPhone to test the site with Chrome and Firefox browsers. Certain technologies were used in the audit:
Following the receipt of the full audit report in December 2019, PKP created the Accessibility Github Project to keep track of the issues and the progress towards their resolution. The project is also open for community members to file issues related to accessibility in user interface and platform functionality.
In 2021, Access Changes Everything Inc. conducted a follow-up audit of the Default theme to evaluate the remediation done by PKP developers. Most issues identified in the initial report were either resolved by PKP, or acceptable workarounds were suggested by Access Changes Everything Inc.
There remain some barriers that could not be fully eliminated. These are either being worked on by PKP or can be addressed by how OJS is used by journals:
reCAPTCHA is a Captcha system and third party service developed by Google and integrated as an optional OJS feature which can be disabled. Alternatives exist, such as the OJS Honeypot plugin.
The OJS Default Theme audit found many barriers, and most of these have been eliminated. However, the theme will be constantly updated, and new barriers may unknowingly be created. If you encounter barriers, or need accommodations, please report them to us via the PKP web contact form.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will Simon Fraser University or any of its affiliates, or any of their respective governors, directors, employees, or agents, be liable for the failure of any content on applications implementing this theme to meet these accessibility standards, to the extent that such content was submitted or uploaded by a third party.
Copyright: Simon Fraser University holds the copyright for work produced by the Public Knowledge Project and has placed its documentation under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.