Accessibility Technology

Web Compliance Evaluation Strategies – All In One

Presenters:  Susan Cullen, Alen Davoodian, and Duc Ta from CSUN

This was my third presentation at the CSUN conference on Thursday, March 5.  I happen to work with these fine folks every day at CSUN, so I have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to talk about.  OK, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a cheerleader 🙂

The CSUN Universal Design Center

  • Based at the CSUN conference, works for the entire California State University system
  • Technology should be usable to everyone regardless of their ability.
  • Build cultural support across the campus
  • Integrates accessibility knowledge into the expected skill set of staff; accessibility is a shared campus responsibility
  • Technology should require the lease amount of effort for users.  Don’t assume they will all engage technology in the same way.

Developing Sound Strategies for Evaluation Methods can be Challenging

  • Scope of work – client eval services cycle:  goals of page or apps defined > Cases functional goals defined > Time analysis and management > resource allocation > define deficiencies > evaluation report delivery > provide coding solutions or training as needed
  • Working with people of different responsibilities and abilities to deliver the most usable solution we can offer

Tools We Use

  • Firebug, WAVE toolbar, color contrast analyzer, Juicy Studio, Grayscale, Web Dev extensions, compliance sheriff, accessibility evaluation toolbar
  • The way you deploy an enterprise tool like Compliance Sheriff is very important

Evaluation Protocols for Compliance & Usability Testing

  • Level 1:  VPAT review, consider campus or system-wide impact of the product, share VPAT back to vendor
  • Level 2:  Limited criteria validation, web form app review, basic web page semantics, run CS scan on some checkpoints, provide recommendations
  • Level 3:  the “deep dive,” criteria validation based on CSU ATI requirements and full UDC testing, comprehensive testing, apps have coding that requires additional research and iterative testing, provide actual coding or workarounds for end users.
  • In short:  VPAT Checking > Spot Checking > Special Element Testing > Comprehensive
  • We categorized evaluation categories

High Impact Errors We See Frequently

  • Web forms
  • Drop-down nav
  • User interface, flow of navigation and error message handling
  • Misaligned tab order based on page function
  • Tables for layout that do not linearize
  • Lack of proper data tables markup
  • Lack of alt description of meaningful images
  • Drop-down “mega menu” and accordion controls within the Drupal CMS that CSUN uses
  • Inconsistent error handling

Executive Level Support

  • You have to have high-level institutional support
  • Band together with other campuses if you’re lucky enough to be a part of a state system and share your resources!

Compliance Sheriff Planning and Training

  1. CS campus management and distribution
  2. Campus periodic scans and reports
  3. Campus training procedure (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  4. Campus web accessibility training procedure overview
  5. Deputy overview and announcement
  6. Departmental designees

Design Accessibility and Usability into your business processes


By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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