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Technical Guidelines

What resources and technical support are available to help make my Website accessible?

The central source for information on resources and technical support is the University's Web Accessibility Website at The Website provides current information on consulting services, techniques and tutorials, and classes and workshops available to assist in implementing the Policy.

Some of the Technical Guidelines appear to be too burdensome. What are my options?

The Technical Guidelines were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium as a set of international web accessibility standards, and are now used as standard by which the U.S. Department of Justice and the courts determine accessibility. The Policy also provides for an exception mechanism (see Article IV) if compliance with the Policy would fundamentally alter the nature of a University program, service, or activity or would impose an undue burden.

What if my Website contains content that cannot be made accessible?

Some content, by its very nature, may not be able to be made accessible. In such cases, an individual/unit should contact the University's ADA Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Equity to request an exception to the Policy. If an exception is granted, the information provided must be made available to individuals with a disability in an equally effective manner. The Technical Guidelines provide suggestions for how to provide accessible descriptive content by which a person using accommodating technologies could understand what the inaccessible content is about. Note that using more established or more widely used technologies may be equally effective for all students, and allow for full accessibility.

Does the Policy prohibit links to external Web pages which do not meet the standards of the University's Web Accessibility Policy?

No. Links to external Web pages which do not meet the standards of the University’s Policy do not have to be removed, unless the links targets are course content. Noncompliance should not obviate external Web pages as a source of information for the greater majority of people. In some instances, the University can encourage external sources to make Web pages more accessible. When linking to external Web pages, the University should find out if external pages are compliant with the University Policy, and be prepared to make reasonable accommodations when needed. 

All course materials must be accessible to all students; it is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that all course content complies with the Policy. External content is subject to the Policy when used in a core academic activity.

Is a document created in Word likely to meet the Policy requirements?

A Word document would have to be properly formatted to be accessible.  See the Word tutorials for Windows and Mac.


Is a PDF document likely to meet the Policy requirements?

There are default settings in certain apps which create inaccessibility PDF.  Please see the PDF tutorial.

Does an application run from a Web page have to meet the requirements of the Web Accessibility Policy?

Yes, if the application is used to conduct core University business and academic activities as defined in the Web Accessibility Policy. Reference to "Web pages" in the Policy covers both Web pages and Web sites, including their design and any Web-delivered content or service.

If the Web page currently uses an application run on software which does not meet the requirements of the Web Accessibility Policy and it is not feasible to remediate the application, an exception to the Policy according to Article IV.