Web accessibility basically means that people with disabilities can use the [w]eb. More specifically, [w]eb accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the [w]eb…
~ Shawn Lawton Henry, World Wide Web Consortium (2006)
Please note: The Web Accessibility Initiative, or WAI, is a division of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The WAI is responsible for the development of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to which Portland State University (PSU) content authors and developers are responsible. Please refer to PSU's Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Policy for more information.
Where to Begin
The W3C's Introduction to Web Accessibility is an excellent starting point for beginners. Portland State University's Office of Information Technology has also developed a five part Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series that leads participants through the foundational elements of digital accessibility in any platform. More focused how-to resources for specific digital environments such as Drupal, Google Applications, Microsoft, etc. can be found via the Digital Accessibility Guides and Resources web page.
While there are more detailed checklists for digital accessibility available, such as the W3C's How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference) or WebAIM's WCAG 2 Checklist, it can be helpful to begin with the basics:
- Color and Typography
- Color Use and Contrast
- Font Type and Size
- Use of White Space
- Structure and Navigation
- Heading Structure
- List Structure
- Table Structure
- Media and Non-HTML Content
- Alternative Text for Images
- Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Description for Videos
- Accessible Design for PDFs, PPTs, etc.
These design considerations are detailed in the Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series below and summarized effectively in WebAIM's Quick Reference: Web Accessibility Principles. Additional, remote or in-person training may be available by request from the IT Accessibility Team. Please refer to IT Accessibility Consulting in OIT's Online Service Catalog for more information.
The following are the publicly-accessible, video portions of the "Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series." The full curriculum, including associated quizzes, is available via PSU's D2L Learning Management System to registered participants.
If you are an aspiring pdx.edu content editor, you will need to participate in the training via D2L in order to edit pdx.edu or qualify for any additional content editor trainings. Please refer to the Site Development team's Web Team Support Resources for more information on pdx.edu login and access support.
- Digital Accessibility, Part 1: What and Why
- Digital Accessibility, Part 2: Accessible Text Content
- Digital Accessibility, Part 3: Accessible Navigation
- Digital Accessibility, Part 4: Accessible Media
- Digital Accessibility, Part 5: Validation
The IT Accessibility Team maintains a Google calendar of free, digital accessibility webinars. Please note, you may need to sign in to your Portland State Odin account in order to view and respond to calendar events.
- Lecture on Web Accessibility with Terrill Thompson
- Open Forum Meeting on Accessibility with Terrill Thompson
- Document Accessibility, Part 1, with Terrill Thompson
- Document Accessibility, Part 2, with Terrill Thompson
- Accessible Media, Part 1, with Terrill Thompson
- Accessible Media, Part 2, with Terrill Thompson